With Bull Run District play beginning this week, Madison County volleyball coach Carrie Hardy stressed the importance of momentum heading into the final two nondistrict matches.
The Mountaineers heeded their coach’s advice and posted a 25-19, 25-14, 25-7 victory over rival William Monroe on Tuesday night to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Margaret Butters tallied eight kills, two blocks and three aces and Sarah Bevins chipped in seven spikes and three blocks as Madison County swept the season series with the Greene Dragons.
The Mountaineers won a five-set thriller at Fluvanna County on Monday night, which Hardy said helped set the tone for Tuesday night’s rivalry match with the Dragons.
“We played last night against Fluvanna and it was a pretty intense game,” Hardy said. “I think they were a little tired today, but they came out and powered through it. This is essentially helping us out with a tough and loaded district that we have.”
The first set was close early on before libero Lindsay McDaniel went on a six-point run from the service line to give her team a 20-14 lead. Butters closed out the first set with a pair of strikes, including one right down the line, to give the Mountaineers a 25-19 win.
William Monroe (3-6) led 5-4 early in the second set before Madison County found its rhythm from the service line. Mila Myers tallied six straight points and setter Frances Sukley added eight more to give the Mountaineers a 22-8 lead.
The Greene Dragons tried to mount a comeback, as Mara Woolford registered one of her nine kills on the night to trim the lead to 24-14. That would be as close as they would get as Ava Jenkins’ tip found some open space in the center of the defense to give Madison County a 25-14 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Hardy credited her team’s performance from the service for allowing them to dig out of an early hole.
“We practice our serving a lot and that’s kind of our bread and butter,” Hardy said. “We work on a lot of spots, a lot of different touches on the ball with serving and that reflected our play tonight. We had quite a few aces.”
The third game was more of the same, as Madison County jumped out to a 16-4 lead and never looked back. Butters had eight service points and two kills to lead the charge. Bevins slammed the door with five kills and three blocks in the final frame.
Ava Jenkins finished with five kills and Abi Tanner added four more to pace a balanced attack at the net.
“We can spread the net,” Hardy said. “We don’t have one hitter that’s truly dominating, which is always nice to have, but we have about five or six that dominate, so we’re pretty well rounded.”
Sukley had a strong all-around game for Madison County, finishing with 26 assists, 13 service points and 10 digs. McDaniel chipped in seven points and 10 assists.
Woolford had nine kills and a block to lead William Monroe. Kelsey Wheeler tallied four points and Ella Weaver chipped in three kills and a block in the loss.
Madison County, the reigning Bull Run District champion, opened district play Thursday against Clarke County. The Mountaineers won 3-0 and were scheduled to host East Rockingham Tuesday and travel to Luray Thursday.