BISHOPVILLE -- Robert E. Lee’s varsity volleyball team improved their record to 3-3 in region play with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-7, 25-15, 26-24) victory over Dillon Christian on Monday night.
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The Cavaliers were led by senior Sara Abbett Kirven, and juniors Caleigh Barrett and Martha Jane Logan. Barrett racked up 14 kills from the outside while Logan added nine kills in the middle. Kirven, the setter, and senior leader, notched four aces while consistently putting her hitters in great position to make big hits.
“Sara is definitely our team leader; she runs our floor,” said Robert E. Lee head coach Donna Gooding. “She can put the ball just about anywhere she wants to do. I can’t say enough good things about her.”
Robert E. Lee came out a bit flat after playing and losing three region games last week. The Warriors took advantage, racing out to an early 12-7 lead in the first set. The Cavaliers responded with a 10-2 run, but DC eventually tied the set 23-23, and then won the final two points to take the set 25-23.
“We’re coming off a tough week last week,” said Gooding. “I’m not making excuses, but I think they were trying to bounce back from that. They came out not talking to each other, and not expecting Dillon Christian to have as much as they did. They have a good coach, and she’s done a really great job with them.”
Everything flipped in the second set.
Robert E. Lee dominated on their way to a 25-7 victory behind three kills, an ace, and six digs from Barrett, and aces from Abbett Kirven and Logan.
“Caleigh [Barrett] has worked as hard as anyone could work to get where she is,” said Gooding. “She’s our go-to hitter, no doubt it. When she believes in herself, she can do anything she wants to do. She’s one of our captains, she does a great job, great attitude.”
The Cavaliers took the third set easily as well, winning it 25-15. Logan starred in that set with four kills while Abbett Kirven and Alyssa Weatherly each notched aces
“That second set was amazing; that’s how we expect them to play,” said Gooding. “I think we wore them out; we kept hitting it and they had to play so much defense in games three and four and I think that’s what carried us.”
The fourth set was much more competitive. REL led throughout the set, eventually stretching their lead to 17-12 before the Warriors began their comeback. Dillon Christian tied the set 20-20, and even took a 21-20 lead. The Cavaliers responded by taking four of the next five points, and finally closed out the set and the match 26-24.
Junior libero Charley Norris led the team defensively, collecting 60 digs on the night, including 19 in the pivotal fourth set.
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