Four years later, the West Wilkes varsity volleyball team turned the tables on Maiden.

The Blackhawks swept the Blue Devils in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs on Tuesday in Millers Creek, 25-13, 25-7 and 25-22.

West avenged a playoff loss in 2016, when host Maiden knocked out Coach Steve Bryan’s club in three sets.

“We played our best volleyball of the season in the first two sets,” said Bryan. “We let up a bit in the third and they got into their rhythm. Overall, it was a great team effort against a strong team.”

West opened the scoring with a booming kill from Cheyenne Clonch off a Jamesyn Bell assist. The Blackhawks closed out the opening set with a 9-1 run, bookended by a pair of authoritative Clonch kills.

Up only 8-6 in the second set, West reeled off the next eight points, highlighted by a Carson Ledford kill that prompted a Maiden timeout at 13-6. The set ended with a 9-0 Blackhawk run, started with a Clonch kill and ended with a Ledford kill that was blocked deep out of bounds.

The third set was knotted at 22-all before West closed out the match with a Clonch block, a Gracie Lambert ace and a thunderous kill from Clonch off another Bell assist.

“The girls covered really well and their defense was great,” continued Bryan. “The  leadership on the floor was excellent. Passing, serving and attacking was on and we capitalized. We played with lots of energy and determination.”

The Blackhawks improve to 15-0 on the season while the Blue Devils finish with a record of 11-4.

West advances to the second round of the playoffs on Thursday. The Blackhawks will host Surry Central at 6 p.m. in Millers Creek. The 11th-seeded Golden Eagles upset sixth-seeded host Hendersonville on Tuesday in five sets.

Surry Central is 12-3 this year and has been coached by Carrie Bruce since 2012. The squad finished second in the Western Piedmont 2A Conference and is a former conference rival of West Wilkes.

West Wilkes is 6-5 all-time in matches against Surry Central. The teams’ last meeting was last season in the second round of the 2019 2A playoffs in Millers Creek. In that game, the Golden Eagles took a five-set thriller to hand the Blackhawks their only loss of the season.

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