The West Wilkes Blackhawk Volleyball team traveled to Moravian Falls on Thursday afternoon and posted a three-set sweep of the Wilkes Central Eagles in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference opener.

In the first game, the Blackhawks posted a 25-17 win and the second ended up 25-18 in favor of the Hawks.

In the third and final game West appeared on the verge of blowing out the Eagles, leading 21-13 late in the game. But Wilkes Central made a determined comeback outscoring West 9-4 before the Blackhawks pulled out the win 25-22.

In the first game, the teams battled to established dominance, with neither team able to build more than a two-point lead. With the score tied at 7-7, West WIlkes began to extend a lead.

Over the next few minutes, the Blackhawks pulled ahead 23-14 with much of the damage was done by Cheyenne Clonch and Carson Ledford. 

“When she (Cheyenne) saw where they were at, she started hitting it and it’s really difficult to return her shots. She played very well tonight,” said West Wilkes Head Coach Steve Bryan. “Carson (Ledford) got going too and Jamesyn Bell did a great job setting those two up for the kills.”

The second set saw West Wilkes break out to an early, building an 11-5 lead. The Eagles scored the next five points to close the gap to a single point. 

West preceded to outscore Wilkes Central 11-3 and led 22-13; the Eagles rallied but ultimately fell as Clonch spiked the final point to end the game, 25-18.

The Blackhawks bolted out of the gate again in the last set, maintaining a 5-to-7-point lead. The Eagles put forth some of their best play of the night in the latter stages of the game to close the final margin to three at 25-22.

Both coaches seemed to be happy with the play of their respective teams. 

“I have a lot of girls and I feel comfortable with any of them on the court,” said Bryan. “We attacked well and started hitting open holes in their defense. I wish we had blocked more but overall I’m pleased.”

“It was an in county rivalry game so you know what each other is going to try to do and we tried to be prepared for it. They’re (West Wilkes) loaded, they have a lot of talent,” said Wilkes Central Head Coach Kevin Anderson. “I thought overall, as good as they are, that we competed. I thought the kids competed really hard and showed great heart.”

With the win the Hawks advanced to 4-0 for the season, 1-0 in conference play. West Wilkes will travel to East for a conference match tonight and go to Forbush for a nonconference match on Wednesday. 

The Eagles, who fell to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in MVAC play, will face county rival North Wilkes tonight in Hays.

In JV action, the Blackhawks remained undefeated this fall with a 2-0 win (25-20, 25-20) over Wilkes Central.

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