By Randy Arrington
LURAY, April 14 — The Luray High School volleyball team held off visiting Madison County in a Region 2B semifinal Tuesday night, 3-1, to advance to the region championship this Thursday against Clarke County.
The Bulldogs (10-3) entered the region tournament this week as the No.1 seed after sharing the Bull Run District title with Clarke (10-3) and then narrowly edging out the Eagles in the 2A power rankings. No.2-seeded Clarke defeated No. 3 East Rockingham (7-6) in three straight sets on Tuesday to set up the title game.
As the top seed, Luray will continue to host on Thursday night when the Region 2B championship gets underway at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs enter the title game after winning nine of their last 10 matches following a 1-2 start to the season. Each of the three teams that defeated Luray — Page, Rapphannock and Clarke — lost to the Bulldogs in their second meeting.
Page County (6-6) just missed the playoffs in the fifth position among a four-team playoff field. Only the Region 2B champion will advance to the state tournament, which begins Tuesday, April 20. Typically, eight teams advance to both the region and state tournament. However, due to the shortened seasons created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the field for each was limited to four.
On Tuesday night in Luray, the Bulldogs took the semifinal round from the Mountaineers in four sets — two of which were runaways, and two that were highly competitive.
With never more than a four-point difference, the first set went back-and-forth all the way to the end. Sophomores Jaidyn McClung and Lindsay Bly, along with senior Makenzie Richards, lead the Bulldogs with three kills each, while Richards added a couple of blocks. The score was tied nine times and the lead flipped back-and-forth a half dozen times before Luray outscored the visiting Mountaineers 7-4 in the final stretch to take a 26-24 win.
The Bulldogs dominated the second set, 25-14, behind the strong play of McClung and Bly who combined for nine more kills.
The third set proved to be much like the first. Madison posted the biggest lead of the frame at 21-15 and held off a late surge by Luray. Four straight kills by McClung tied the score at 23-23, but the Mountaineers took the final two points and the third set.
Senior standout hitter Brynlee Burrill took control in the fourth and final frame, racking up nine kills in the set and leading Luray to a 25-18 win to claim the match. The Bulldogs also saw strong play from senior libero Baylee Burrill, who not only recorded a few aces, but also provided numerous great digs on defense. McClung recorded 13 kills on the night, while Brynlee Burrill had 10 and Bly had nine.
For schedules, rosters, results and standings, visit the Bull Run District website.