Lexington takes 5-setter over River Bluff in key region volleyball match
The atmosphere inside the Wildcat Gym Tuesday night rivaled that found during a basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Lexington High School fans proudly sported their school colors in various ways for the "Blue Out". Visiting River Bluff was not intimidated as their supporters were equally boisterous in their white and green colors.
The intense setting was fiiting for a volleyball matchup between archrivals competing for first place in Region 5-5A. Lexington looked to get a leg up in the region champions against argubly its biggest threat to repeating as region champion.
The Lady Wildcats came away with the hard-fought 5-set victory.
"It was a back and forth good battle between two good teams," Lexington head coach Eric Shick said. "We started out really tight in the first set and got in a little hole, but it was a good battle."
River Bluff took the first set 25-18. Lexington responded by winning the next two sets by the scores of 25-17 and 25-22.
The third set was pivotal as the Lady Wildcats found themselves fighting off points which could have tied the match. Down the stretch, All-State senior Maggie Salley smashed a pair of kill points to lift Lexington to victory.
Salley finished with a team-high 30 kills and an ace. Phoebe Perkins added 17 kills, two blocks and an ace.
"We were just good at getting back at points," said Salley, who's committed to High Point University next fall. "If they've get a point, we'd always come back."
"Maggie's our go-to girl," Salley said. "We're going to miss her year next year."
The momentum carried over into the fourth set as Lexington jumped out to a 7-1 lead. River Bluff responded with a 14-7 run in points to take a 15-14 lead.
The Lady Gators would fight off rallies by Lexington to take the 25-23 victory to deadlock the match.
Lexington pulled away in the final set, winning by a decisive 15-5 margin to take the match.
"I just told them a lot of times we have to worry about beating ourselves with errors and stuff like that," Shick said. "So I just said let's play clean volleyball and keep the pressure on them and just play as good as we can on our side and not worry about what they're doing on their side and it worked."
Lexington (21-7, 3-0) closes out the regular season against River Bluff Oct. 11 in "The Swamp". Before then, the Lady Wildcats travel to Shick's former team White Knoll on Thursday and will hold the Wildcat Invitational this Saturday.
River Bluff (9-2-1, 2-1) returns to action Wednesday at home against Dutch Fork and its former head coach Cindy Esposito.
Fox Creek 3, Batesburg-Leesville 1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-15, 25-20)
Pelion 3, Edisto 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-13)
Swansea 3, Pelion (25-18, 25-19, 26-24)
River Bluff 5, Lexington 1
Claire Floyd (RB) d. Becca Bryan (L) 6-2, 6-0
Victoria Votion (RB) d. Emmie Thompson (L) 6-2, 6-3
Kiana Thatcher (RB) d. Reet Verma (L) 6-1, 6-1
Shelby Byers (RB) d. Caroline Goodman (L) 6-3, 6-1
Emma Whetsell (L) d. Anna Sofia Brown (RB) 5-7, 6-3, 10-6
Riley Mitchell & Jillian Lietzey (RB) d. Rohita Patil & Emma Taylor (L) 6-2, 6-2