Volleyball season ramps up as Chronicle Country teams head into region play

Posted 9/13/23

With the South Carolina High School Sports League volleyball regular season in full swing, teams around Chronicle Country have either started or are preparing to start region play.

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Volleyball season ramps up as Chronicle Country teams head into region play


With the South Carolina High School Sports League volleyball regular season in full swing, teams around Chronicle Country have either started or are preparing to start region play.

Region play is where things start getting interesting and the stakes are raised with playoff and region title implications.

Lexington High

The Lexington High Wildcats were certainly one of the busiest teams in the county, playing 23 matches already.

They have a record of 17-5-1 and have tested themselves with some of the toughest competition in the state.

In non-region play, the Wildcats had a rematch of last year’s state title game against Mauldin where they lost a tight contest two sets to one. They also took on the defending 3A state champion, Wren, and the defending 4A state champion in Aiken and won both of those marquee matchups. They also made a deep run in the North-South Invitational in Rock Hill earlier in the season.

After falling one game short of a state title last year, head coach Eric Shick has done all he

could to prepare his team for another deep run going into region play.
The Wildcats are led by Jazlyn Snow, Kendall Vinson and Sara Sykes. As of Sept. 11, Snow leads the team in total blocks (26) and hitting percentage (0.291). Vinson leads the team in serving aces (23) and kills (139). Sykes has made a big impact statistically, leading the Wildcats in digs with 159.

The Wildcats were slated to begin their region slate Tuesday, Sept. 12 against Chapin and round out the week with a big match at River Bluff Thursday, Sept. 14.

River Bluff

The River Bluff Gators made some serious noise at the beginning of the season when they beat region rival Lexington High in the North-South Invitational in Rock Hill and went on to finish as the runner-up for the event after falling to Hough (NC) in the championship match.

Since then, the Gators are 8-5-2 and have reeled off three straight wins against Westwood, Wando and Summerville.

Coming into the season, River Bluff was a team of intrigue because of the amount of last season’s production that departed and the influx of younger, inexperienced players. So far, they have stepped up and have the Gators sitting with a 13-6-2 record overall.

During the recent win streak, River Bluff has relied heavily on Kylie Wilson, Masyn McClanahan and Alexis Jodie.

In those three games, Wilson recorded an impressive 34 kills and 25 digs to earn her a Chronicle Female Athlete of the Week nomination. McClanahan’s 34 digs and Jodie’s 83 assists have also highlighted the three big wins from last week.

River Bluff is set to host White Knoll Tuesday, Sept. 12 to open region play opener and will get a North-South Invitational rematch from earlier in the year against rival Lexington High at home Thursday, Sept. 14.

White Knoll

The Timberwolves are 2-7 on the season but have already tied their win total from last year, giving head coach Rebecca Burriss much enthusiasm going into region competition.

Last week, White Knoll continued to show growth as Chronicle Female Athlete of the Week Taylor O’Neil and her teammates gave Blythewood all they could handle before losing a tight match that went the distance in all five sets.

Even in the loss, Burriss said she is proud of how the team competed and that it was some of the best volleyball she has seen them play in her year and a half of coaching the program.

The Timberwolves will get to put their improvements on display Tuesday, Sept. 12 when they start region play with a tough contest at River Bluff followed by a Thursday, Sept. 14 home tilt against Dutch Fork, where they will be having their military appreciation night.


The Gilbert Indians have already begun their region play and got it started in dominant fashion. On Sept. 5, they breezed through their region opener in three sets against Lower Richland at home and then hit the road to shut out fellow Chronicle Country team Swansea two days later.

During those two matches, the Indians were led by Meredith McEnulty, who served at a 91% clip and recorded six aces, 23 assists and 11 kills in that dominant stretch.

The Indians haven’t played as many games as teams like Lexington and River Bluff but have still been making plenty of noise through the early portion of the year. So far, Gilbert has yet to lose a game and as of Sept. 11, sit at 8-0.
However, the early success hasn’t come without some adversity.

“We are slowly progressing to being consistent,” head coach Jackie Shealy said after the win against Swansea. “The girls are working really hard. After playing in a pre-season tournament, we had three players go out with injuries and missed them in the latter part of our preseason with our scrimmages so it’s nice to sort of get them back and try to gel out there on the court. They’re working hard and they are pushing to become more consistent.”

Gilbert got one extra non-region game this week, beating Lugoff-Elgin 3-0 Sept. 11 before dominating region opponent Dreher 3-0 to move to 3-0 in the region.

They’ll hit the road Thursday, Sept. 14 for a big region match-up against Orangeburg-Wilkinson, who has had some clashes with Gilbert in the past with region championships on the line.

Lexington County Volleyball, Lexington High School Volleyball, River Bluff Volleyball, Gilbert Volleyball, White Knoll Volleyball, Taylor O'Neil, Jackie Shealy, Meredith McEnulty, Rebecca Burriss, Masyn McClanahan, Alexis Jodie, Kylie Wilson, Jazlyn Snow, Kendall Vinson, Sara Sykes, Eric Shick


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