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Gate City puts away John Battle in four-setter

Kevin Mays • Oct 9, 2019 at 1:31 AM

BRISTOL, Va. — John Battle has a strong volleyball program. The Lady Trojans also have trouble finishing off a game.

“Every single game,” Battle coach Brittni Haderer said of her team’s struggles late. “It’s been a battle all year long to finish. We may need only one or two points to finish, but we just struggle getting over that hump. We just need to finish it.”

The Lady Trojans (4-10, 3-5) followed their problematic script Tuesday in a Mountain 7 District loss to Gate City (11-8, 6-2).

BALANCE IN BLUE

The Lady Blue Devils got 13 kills from Bel Sallee, 11 kills and five blocks from Kinslee Hammonds, and 10 kills and 24 digs from Sarah Thompson on the way to a 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19 victory.

Aubrie Penley added seven kills and 18 digs, Kaley Jenkins had 25 assists and Ashley Stanley finished with 17 assists and 14 digs for the Lady Blue Devils. Lexie Summers contributed 24 digs.

Gate City coach Amy Reed noted that such a balanced, team effort was important in her team’s success against the Lady Trojans.

“(John Battle) is an extremely dangerous team,” Reed added. “They just cover the floor and wait for you to make the mistakes. You just have to keep working and moving. We kept fighting back and that was what I wanted to see from them.

“Our back row did a good job of defending against their attack and keeping the ball in play and getting up to the front line.”

BATTLE FROM BATTLE

Battle kept things close in each set. Emma Harmon finished with eight kills and 14 digs, and Kelsey Blaylock had six kills.

Keelie Pippin totaled 22 assists and 10 digs, Bethany Smith had 46 digs and Cassidy Kiser finished with 25 digs in the loss.

UP NEXT

Gate City faces a tough test on Thursday when at home against district-leading Abingdon.

Battle is off until next Tuesday when the Lady Trojans travel to Lee High. Haderer is hopeful her team can pick up the win and gain some momentum heading into the district tournament in a couple of weeks.

“We’ve been there in every game since Game 1 of the season,” she said. “We’ve just got to get over the hump.”

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