On Thanksgiving eve, the West Wilkes varsity volleyball team and star hitter Cheyenne Clonch feasted on the last-place team in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference.
Clonch recorded her 1,000th career kill and the Blackhawks easily disposed of Starmount in Boonville, 25-14, 25-14 and 25-11.
“Cheyenne has worked so hard,” said West Coach Steve Bryan of the Lenoir-Rhyne University signee.
Bryan relayed that Clonch wanted to thank her setters over the years (senior Jamesyn Bell, plus graduates Emily Bumgarner and Alex Bryan) and all of her teammates. Clonch also wished to thank her parents, friends and family for all of their support.
Clonch paced West with 18 kills and five blocks against the Rams. Junior Carson Ledford backed up the Blackhawks’ dominant net play with 12 kills and two blocks.
Jamesyn Bell racked up 41 assists for the Blackhawks. Sophie Nichols led the club with six digs.
West improved to 4-0 and remains in a first-place conference tie with Elkin, who tripped up visiting North Wilkes (1-3) on Wednesday, 25-12, 25-13 and 25-23.
“We responded well after beating Alleghany (on Nov. 23),” said Bryan. “Starmount is much better than their record (0-4).”
In other action on Wednesday, East Wilkes (1-3) traveled to Sparta and was upended by Alleghany, 25-17, 25-13 and 25-6.
Emma Jolly paced the Cardinals with 25 digs and 15 service receptions. Other team leaders for East were Monica Shaver (nine kills), Lilly Adams (four blocks), Keli Russell (four aces) and Haley Graham (19 assists).
Also on Wednesday, Wilkes Central’s game at Ashe County was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. A rescheduled date had not been announced as of Tuesday.
Nov. 23 games
In a key early-season matchup on Nov. 23, West Wilkes toppled Alleghany in four sets in Sparta.
The Blackhawks (3-0) won the extended first set, 27-25. The Trojans (2-1) knotted things up by taking the second set, 25-23. West then swept the final two sets, 25-20 and 25-19.
“The game was a battle,” said Bryan. “We made a lot of errors and had to withstand a very good Alleghany team.”
Clonch and Ledford dominated the net for West. Clonch recorded 22 kills and six blocks, and Ledford added 12 kills and a team-high 11 blocks.
Bell paced the Blackhawks with 47 assists. Sophie Nichols had a team-high 12 digs and Katie Nichols led the squad with five service aces.
“Sophie Nichols made some unbelievable plays that really sparked our team,” noted Bryan. “Sydney Sheets made some big hits as well as Carson, Katie and Cheyenne. Overall it was a good team effort.”
East Wilkes recorded a four-set victory over visiting Starmount (0-3) on Nov. 23. The Cardinals won their first game of the year by scores of 25-22, 25-20, 15-25 and 25-23.
“I’m proud of the determination my team showed and not giving up when things got tough,” said East Coach Kassandra Gage. “We changed a few things before the match and I’m proud of my team for being adaptable and working hard.”
Gage said her club will use the win as a stepping stone for the rest of the season. “We know we still have work to do to be where we want to be, but we are very happy with our efforts and successes of (the Starmount) game.”
East (1-2) was led by Monica Shaver’s nine kills and Lilly Adams’ four blocks. Other team leaders were Keli Russell (four service aces), Emma Jolly (25 digs and 15 serves received) and Haley Graham (19 assists).
Shaver and Adams “did very well at the net for us” and Maci Reynolds and Russell had “some great serving points for us when it was most crucial,” according to Gage.
On Nov. 23, Elkin stayed tied at the top of the MVAC with a three-set sweep of visiting Wilkes Central, 25-18, 25-22 and 25-23. The Elks moved to 3-0 while Central dropped to 1-2.
Karlie Anderson paced Central with 12 assists and three service aces. Other team leaders were Zoe Mathis (eight kills), Olivia Rush (three blocks) and Riley Johnson (15 digs).
Also on Nov. 23, North Wilkes (1-2) dropped a home game in four sets to Ashe County (1-2). After dropping the first two sets 25-20 and 26-24, the Vikings won the third set, 25-23. The Huskies prevailed in the fourth set, 25-23, to record its first win of the season.