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MAX MEADOWS –– After sparring with the lightweights, Galax returns to among the heavyweight division this week. Thursday, the Maroon Tide tuned up for a big two days of competition by handling Fort Chiswell 25-20, 25-17, 25-19 in a Mountain Empire District match.
Galax upped its record to 13-3 overall, 6-1 in the MED by winning its fifth straight match, dropping just one set along the way in relatively easy victories over Bland County, Rural Retreat, Narrows, Graham and the Pioneers.
Up next is a pair of tough matches, both on the road, against Auburn tonight and Grayson County Tuesday.
Fort Chiswell (5-16) was much more competitive with the ball in its second meeting with the Tide, winning 10 more points than it had in a 3-0 loss three weeks ago. The Pioneers’ play improved as the night wore on and Fort reeled off seven unanswered points early in the third set to take a 13-6 lead on three winners by Sarah Burnett.
Galax was down 14-7 before zooming into the lead for good with a 14-1 run. Susan Davis served three aces in a run of 10 straight points, and three straight Fort Chiswell errors had the Tide leading 21-15, soon to put the Pioneers away.
Madison Shupe served up three straight aces in a 5-0 run that saw Galax jump to an 8-3 lead in the opening set. Fort Chiswell gradually reeled in the Tide and squared the score at 11-11 before Galax pulled in front with four straight points, eventually leading 19-12 on successive kills from Paige Hanks, Lindsey Ayers and Shupe.
Hanks served for seven straight points early in the second set, getting kills from Stacy Shumate, Morgan Neff and Brady Kinser along the way, as Galax took an 11-3 lead. Ayers later sent two aces in Fort’s direction as part of a 5-1 run to the finish.
Hanks led a balanced offensive attack with 10 kills while Ayers, Davis and Neff added between five and seven each.
Ayers had seven digs, with five more coming from Davis and Lauren Garvey. Davis also put up 20 assists.
Hidden Valley def. Carroll County 3-0: The Titans maintained their unblemished River Ridge District record, improving to 10-0 against the league with a 25-17, 25-9, 25-14 win Thursday in Hillsville.
Brooke Mitchell and Madison Morris put down 11 kills apiece for the Titans (16-1 overall).
Morgan Crowder led Carroll County (12-9, 4-6) with three kills and Eustacia Smith added two kills and three aces.
Grayson County def. Bland County 3-0: The Blue Devils also remained perfect in district play, winning their seventh straight MED contest by blasting the Bears 25-11, 25-14, 25-6 Thursday in Independence.
Camryn McGrady led Grayson County with 11 kills and Mary Meier chipped in with seven. The Blue Devils improved to 14-3 overall.