Tide regroups, tops Pioneers

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A sluggish second set was surrounded by three dominant ones in Galax's win.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 MAX MEADOWS –– This is why they play best-of-five instead of best-of-one.

Galax could do little right in a hiccup of a second game but did very little wrong the rest of the night, taking a 25-13, 21-25, 25-8, 25-13 win over Fort Chiswell in a Mountain Empire District match Thursday.

After breezing to a 13-point win in the opening set, Galax (4-1 overall, 1-0 district) simply had trouble putting the ball where it wanted it in the second.

“We missed too many serves and hit too many balls out,” Galax coach Rose Houk said. “Fort Chiswell played a lot better in the second game, and we just couldn’t get the momentum going like we did in the other three games.”

Twelve of Fort Chiswell’s points in the second game, nearly half, were on a variety of Maroon Tide miscues ranging from poor passes, wayward kill attempts, carries and touching the net. The Pioneers were certainly more competitive in the second with a combination of kills, aces and blocks tallying 13 points, but Galax quickly regained its rhythm after the second.

Starting with a 5-1 run to open the third, Galax soon was ahead by double figures, leading 10-3 on two Allison White aces and then taking a 15-5 lead on another ace by Kelsey Reedy. The Maroon Tide libero stayed on the serving line for a nine-point rally that included two aces, two Kristen Osborne kills and two winners by Kemberlea Simmons.

Galax led 9-6 in the third before leaving Fort Chiswell in the dust. Bailey Shumate guided a tip into an open spot in the Pioneer defense to spark an 11-2 Tide run. White had two tremendous saves leading to a Simmons block and an Osborne kill for points 18 and 19. Fort pulled to within 22-13 before Galax closed with a 3-0 run.

“It was a good total team effort,” Houk said. “Our hitters hit the ball well, and we’re a good-hitting team when we pass well. We were on tonight and they looked good.”

White had 16 kills, five blocks, eight digs and jump-served eight aces among her 12 points. The Tide was balanced at the net with eight kills from Simmons, seven from Harley Brewer and six from Shumate, who also had 20 assists. Channing Russell had 10 assists and Reedy came up with 12 digs.

Bland Co. 3, Grayson Co. 0: The Blue Devils remained in search of their first MED win, dropping a 26-24, 25-17, 25-18 decision Thursday at Bland.

Madison McCormick had 19 assists and Brandi Goad added 15 for Grayson County. Catherine Vaughan led the Devil hitters with four kills, also coming up with five digs. Destiny Shupe and Natasha Moore each served for five points, and Shupe had six digs.