WAYNESBORO — The Staunton volleyball team had to throw everything it had into the mix in order to stop a fired-up Waynesboro team from christening its new gym with a victory Tuesday night in non-district action. In the end the Storm went home with a hard-fought, four-set victory, 25-12, 21-25, 25-23, and 26-24. Waynesboro did win the junior varsity match, 25-12, 25-23 for the first-ever victory in the brand-new Little Giants gymnasium.
The visitors opened the match with a 25-12 win off the strong serving of Gabby Liccione who served the first six points of the game to put the Storm up 6-0 and then ended the game with 10 more serves. Emma Elam’s scrappy play at the net ensured the win.
A fired-up Waynesboro team, cheered on by a supportive home team crowd, took the second game of the match. When Logan O’Neill and Kaili Jones teamed up with some sharp play at the net, the Giants locked the game at 4-4 and never looked back. Jada Keene pushed her team in front with some accurate serves and the home team capitalized on several Storm miscues to go up 15-13.
Cierra Bruce dropped in several serves, including an ace to continue the surge. Staunton came back to lock the game at 19-19, but the Giants took control to finish the game with a win, 25-21.
Game three was a see-saw affair from start to finish with the score being locked nine times. Kaleigh Adcock’s play at the net for Waynesboro and Sidney Fix’s net play for the Storm had the crowd on its feet on several occasions. Sarah Becker’s unreturned serve finally gave Staunton a 25-23 victory in game three.
Unbelievably, the match got even tighter in the fourth and final game with the score deadlocked 11 times, the last at 24-24 meaning that the Storm had to score two more points for the final 26-24 win. Keeping Waynesboro in the game was the offensive play of Keene, while Csayjah Whitelow’s offensive skills were on display for Staunton.
Staunton coach Rodger Davis, whose team had an easier time with Waynesboro last week, had nothing but praise for the Giants.
“Waynesboro is an improving team. They are better every time we see them. This was a hard-fought contest by both sides,” he said.
The Storm were led by Liccione with 41 assists, Miller with 16 digs, and Fix with 12 kills. The Staunton coach also noted that he had several players who came off the bench to help seal the victory.
“It was a total team effort,” he added.
Although disappointed in the loss, Waynesboro coach Lori Aleshire said her girls played their hearts out.
“Tonight we were much improved from last week. We just had too many unforced errors,” she said.
She added that the teams were excited to play in the new gym, although there are still a few finishing touches to be completed on the facility. Right now the team has no storage space for equipment and the air conditioning is still being fine-tuned, but her girls are excited to be playing in the new facility with its fresh coats of purple and gold paint.
Leading the Waynesboro girls in their first outing in the new gum were Keene with 6 kills and 14 digs, Bruce with 18 assists and 14 digs, Letizia Smith with 19 digs, and Ryleigh Wood with 4 aces.
The Giants, now 0-3, will host Wilson on Thursday, while Staunton, 3-0, heads to Stonewall.