The West Wilkes varsity volleyball team clinched a third straight Mountain Valley 1A/2A Conference championship with a three-set sweep of host Elkin on Dec. 30.
The Blackhawks won 25-21, 25-11 and 25-12 to move to 12-0 in MVAC play. Elkin fell to 8-3 in league play, a game behind 10-2 Alleghany. West assured the three-peat—and the league’s only guaranteed 2A playoff berth—by virtue of its season sweep of the Trojans.
“The girls executed well and kept attacking Elkin’s defense, forcing them to make errors,” said West Coach Steve Bryan. “Overall it was a great team effort.”
The Buckin’ Elks went toe-to-toe with the visitors in the first set, but West closed out the set with a kill by senior hitter Cheyenne Clonch and a service ace by junior hitter Carson Ledford.
Clonch paced the Blackhawks with 14 kills and six blocks and was selected by Bryan as his player of the match.
Behind the service of senior setter Jamesyn Bell, West raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and never looked back. Bell led the Blackhawks with 32 assists.
In set two, a kill by junior hitter Sydney Sheets made it 8-2 and led to an Elkin timeout. With Bell again in service, an Elkin hitting error forced Coach Jon Symons to take another timeout with his club trailing 15-6.
West ended the second set with a Sheets kill, a Clonch kill and another scoring spike from Clonch from deep mid-court.
The third set started with an Elkin service error and quickly went downhill for the hosts, as West, with Bell in service, zoomed out to a 6-0 lead. A Ledford kill prompted another Elkin timeout.
Later in the set, a Ledford ace made it 13-1 and forced Symons to signal for another stoppage of play. Ledford had a game-high five service aces.
West’s lead grew to 18-1, and from there it was smooth sailing and wholesale substitutions for Bryan’s club. The game ended on kills from Ledford, Clonch and Ledford.
Senior libero Sophie Nichols led the Blackhawks with 14 digs and 18 serves received.
West improved to 13-0 with a sweep of Ashe County on Monday in Jefferson. The Blackhawks prevailed 25-10, 25-11 and 25-9.
Clonch led her club with 19 kills, 14 serves received and seven digs. Ledford had five aces and four blocks. Katie Nichols also had five aces and Lambert made four blocks. Sophie Nichols also notched seven digs. Bell recorded 27 assists.
West closes out its regular season by hosting North Wilkes on Wednesday. Bryan said, “We must stay focused this week to complete our conference schedule. We cannot take any team lightly.”
Eagles topple Rams
On Monday, Wilkes Central recorded a four-set win over Starmount in Moravian Falls, 25-22, 25-21, 19-25 and 25-19. The Eagles improved to 5-7 in league play while the Rams slipped to 4-9.
"I felt we played well in spurts against a solid Starmount team, and did just enough to come out with a win," said Kevin Anderson, the Central coach. "We talked prior to the match and told the girls we needed them to step up and be leaders, and we saw that in some tonight."
Anderson said his club served really well and made a couple defensive adjustments that led to better offensive sets for his hitters.
"It’s really good to see the girls want to finish out our season strong and on a positive note," he said. "I’m really proud of our seniors and for them showing the underclassmen what focus, intensity, hustle and positive attitudes it takes to stay competitive. It was a great win on the seniors' actual last home volleyball match."
On Dec. 30, Alleghany dropped Wilkes Central in Sparta, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-14.
East drops two
Host Elkin swept East Wilkes on Monday, 25-16, 25-15 and 25-16. Elkin improved to 9-3 while the Cardinals slipped to 1-12 in the MVAC.
The Cardinals were paced by sophomore Hailey Edwards’ four kills, senior Maci Reynolds’ three aces, freshman Kyleigh Lane’s four blocks, junior Emma Jolly’s 10 digs, senior Monica Shaver’s 20 serves received and senior Haley Graham’s six assists.
Ashe County (5-6) needed only three sets to dispatch of East Wilkes in Jefferson on Nov. 30. The Huskies prevailed 25-11, 25-17 and 25-11.
East was led by Edwards (four kills), Graham (two aces and 10 assists), Lane (five blocks), Jolly (nine digs) and Reynolds (nine digs and 15 serves received).
North slips twice
North Wilkes fell to Alleghany in Hays on Monday, 25-15, 25-15 and 25-18. The Trojans bettered to 11-2 while the Vikings dropped to 2-10.
North also dropped a 3-1 decision to Starmount in Boonville on Dec. 30.