Middle school volleyball

Bethel’s Hannah Millsaps (15) goes up for a kill in front of teammates Amber Hamby (5), Sarah Greene (20) and Gracie Lawrence (back) and in front of Valle Crucis’ Michelle Klemann (5).

BOONE – Cove Creek, Parkway, Blowing Rock and Valle Crucis all posted first round victories in the Watauga County Middle School Volleyball Tournament at Lentz-Eggers Gym on Oct. 8.

Top-seeded Cove Creek, which improved to 15-0, beat eighth-seeded Mabel 25-15, 25-13 in the first set of matches played. No. 2-seeded Parkway followed with a 25-18, 25-14 win over Green Valley and No. 6-seeded Blowing Rock upset No. 3-seeded Hardin Park 15-25, 25-16, 15-13.

In the final match played, No. 4-seeded Valle Crucis beat No. 5-seeded Bethel 25-22, 25-7.

Valle Crucis didn’t lead by more than four points in the first set until the Cougars took a 23-18 lead late in the set. Bethel rallied to within 23-22, but Valle Crucis won the next two points to win the set.

Valle Crucis pulled away early in the second set. Maggie Stevens served an ace to take a 6-2 lead and increased it to 10-4 before Bethel called time out. Valle Crucis took a 14-7 lead and scored 11 straight points to seal the victory.

Parkway pulled away from Green Valley with a 5-0 run, which was sparked by two service aces by Olivia Beasley. Parkway took an 18-9 lead and Green Valley never got closer than seven points the rest of the set.

Green Valley opened the second set with a 2-0 lead, but Parkway got an ace from Dagan Newsome and took a 5-3 lead. Parkway claimed a 12-6 lead, which got Green Valley to call timeout.

Green Valley never got closer than 14-9 and the Patriots reached the semifinals.

Blowing Rock lost the first set to Hardin Park after falling behind 15-6 in the first set. Hardin Park took its largest lead of the set at 23-12 and the Rockets never got closer.

Helped by an ace by Lucy Bachman, Blowing Rock took an early 6-3 lead in the second set. Leading 10-8, the Rockets scored seven straight points to go out to a 17-8 lead. An ace from Katie Matheson stopped the run and Hardin Park closed to 18-14, but never got closer.

Blowing Rock saw a 6-1 lead evaporate to a 7-6 deficit with a Matheson kill capping the run. The team stayed close the rest of the set with a service ace by Dori Whitehead capping the set and the match.

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