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Local volleyballers looking for bounce

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Can squads pick up the beat?

By Mike Forster

  The state of Bedford County volleyball hasn't improved much as the season has chugged along.

Neither team seems in a position to make a serious run at a district title.

At this point, in fact, Liberty is still in search of its first win of the season.  Staunton River is in the hunt for its first Blue Ridge win and Jefferson Forest is toying with a .500 season.

Liberty fell to 0-8, overall, as it was swept by Amherst.  The Lancers topped the Minettes in straight sets:  25-13, 25-10, 25-4.  

The loss is especially disappointing, as Liberty seemed on the verge of picking up its first win.  After the Minettes lost to Staunton River in five games last week, Liberty Head Coach Dave Peirce said, "We're getting so close, I can taste it."

The first-year coach inherited a program that had already dropped 20-straight matches.  The loss to Amherst gives the team a fairly substantial losing streak at 28.

Still, the Minettes are a very young team that is still getting comfortable with a new coach.  Liberty had a shot at breaking the streak when it played at Heritage Tuesday night (after press time for this newspaper).  The team will also host Rustburg on Thursday.

Don't fret, ladies.  You'll get there!

Meanwhile, Staunton River has faced what are likely the three best teams in the Blue Ridge.  The Eagles only have three losses to show for their pains.

After falling to Rockbridge, 25-16, 25-16, 22-25, 25-17, the Eagles were swept by Northside:  25-17, 25-10, 25-10.

Against pre-season favorite Lord Botetourt, the River Ladies put up a nice fight before falling 25-12, 25-10, 21-25, 25-13.

In the Lord Bot loss, the Eagles were paced by Addie Tuck, who had six kills and five blocks.  Libero Jill Ferguson scooped 11 digs, while Katelyn Dellis dished up 16 assists.  Brie Holdren chimed in with five kills and eight digs.

Staunton River next has a couple of matches with the opportunity to make hay.  On Tuesday, they hosted  William Byrd, which is 1-2 in district play (the Terriers only win came over Alleghany).  This Thursday, they entertain winless Alleghany.

Jefferson Forest, meanwhile, had been playing in the doldrums.  Lately, however, the Lady Cavs have picked up the pace.

In a pair of district wins, JF was downright dominant, a somewhat novel state for the team this year.

Last Tuesday, the lady Cavs beat up on Heritage:  25-13, 25-16, 25-9.  

In that contest, Forest was paced by Kate Lemley's 20 assists, Sarah Downs' trio of aces and seven digs, India Callahan's four blistering aces and Daphne Allen's eight boffo kills.

Two nights later, the Lady Cavs beat up on Rustburg, topping the Red Devils 18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 26-24.

In that one, Callahan smacked eight kills, while picking up 14 digs.  Ryan Martin had 13 digs and four kills and Kayla Goumas dished up 35 assists.  Taylor Tibbs stormed in with 10 kills and four service aces.

The wins gave JF a 4-2 mark in district play, halfway through the slate.

They were in action Tuesday night, hoping to avenge an earlier season loss to Brookville.  That match took place at the Bee Hive.

On Thursday, the Lady Cavs head to Franklin County to take on the AAA-level Eagles.