VALDESE — For an opening-week showdown between 1-0 county teams, Thursday’s Foothills Athletic Conference volleyball contest between host Heritage and Liberty lived up to the billing.
The Eagles and Knights each won a middle set by two points apiece, but Heritage bookended the match with comfortable advantages to take the victory, 25-14, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16, and continue the early-season defense of their FAC title from last fall.
In the deciding fourth frame, the Lady Eagles (2-0) kept Liberty (1-1) off-balance with strong serves, led by six total aces in the set from Bailey Mozeley, Heather Garcia and Allyson Auton.
“You’ve just really got to be consistent with your toss,” Mozeley said of her serves.
Added Auton on the win: “It’s pretty cool. I like playing volleyball, and it feels good when you win.”
Along with Mozeley, Garcia and Auton, Kaydin Pritchard, Kyndall Bennett, Lyrical Edwards and Macy Auton led the scoring charge for the Lady Eagles.
Carly Setterlind (18 digs), Anna Lynn Ripley (13 digs, three aces), Kate Clark (eight assists, seven kills), Marleigh Carswell (eight digs, five aces), Landri Smith (five kills) and Ellie Shuping (five assists) were the statistical leaders for the Lady Knights.
East Burke 3, W. McDowell 0
The host Lady Raiders (1-0) won their season opener in straight sets on Thursday, 25-7, 25-13, 25-22.
EBMS was led at the service stripe by Braelyn Stillwell, Karlie Chester and Reagan Carter. At the net, Chester and Carter’s offensive efforts were complemented by those of Macy McNeil and Sydney Mosteller. And defensively, the Raiders were paced by Stilwell, Carter, Mosteller and Hermione Avelar-Garro.
E. McDowell 3, Walter Johnson 0
The Lady Yellow Jackets (0-2) fell Thursday in Marion, 7-25, 11-25, 9-25. No more details were available.
The News Herald sports department can be reached at email@example.com.
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