The Rockbridge County volleyball team continued its undefeated run through the Valley District on Tuesday night, but not before being tested by the Waynesboro Little Giants. The Wildcats won in three competitive sets 25-18, 25-21, 25-22.
“We came to play tonight. It’s certainly not the result we wanted, but we competed tonight,” Waynesboro head coach Lori Aleshire said of her team that had won two of its previous three matches. “We’ve been playing better. The girls have been playing better as a team. We have four matches left. We still have a chance to do some good things.”
Rockbridge, now 16-1 overall and 6-0 in the Valley, jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the opening set. Two kills from Graceon Armstrong and one by Aiyana Cooper sparked the early Rockbridge offense.
A service ace by Waynesboro’s Cierra Bruce cut the Wildcats lead to 8-6, but the visitors maintained the lead and methodically pulled away to a 22-13 advantage.
Waynesboro (5-11 overall, 3-3 in the district) scored the next five points to close the gap. Two kills by Jayden Dillard-Harmon and an ace from Ryleigh Wood pulled the Little Giants to within 22-18 before Rockbridge closed out the set, 25-18.
The teams traded points in the second set before a block by Kaleigh Adcock and a Wildcats’ hitting error put Waynesboro ahead 9-7.
Rockbridge moved ahead 12-10, but a kill by Wayneboro’s Jada Keene evened the score at 12-12.
The Wildcats then starting feeding their go-to player Armstrong and she delivered with five kills on the next six points to push the visitors to an 18-12 lead.
A kill by Rachel Hines put the Cats up 22-17, but Waynesboro continued to battle and trimmed the deficit to one. Kills by Dillard-Harmon and Letizia Smith coupled with a pair of Rockbridge hitting errors pulled the hosts to within 22-21.
A crucial service error provided Rockbridge a side-out and then kills by Armstrong and Grace Cauley closed out the second set with the Cats winning 25-21.
Rockbridge raced out to a commanding 20-10 advantage in the third set, but once again, the Little Giants refused to go quietly.
A pair of kills by Keene ignited a 4-0 Waynesboro spurt to trim the margin to 20-14. After Waynesboro’s Kylie Norman and Rockbridge’s Armstrong traded kills. the Cats still led by six, 24-18,
A hitting error gave Waynesboro the serve and an ace by Wood made the score 24-20. Two more Rockbridge hitting errors pulled the Little Giants to within two points before a kill by Armstrong ended the third set, 25-22, and completed the sweep for Rockbridge.
Bruce led the Little Giants with 22 assists while also adding nine digs. Keene led the team in kills with eight and contributed 14 digs. Smith added five kills and a team-high 22 digs.
Armstrong paced the winners with 19 kills.