By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Oct. 24 — Luray swept Rappahannock, 3-0, in the first round of the Bull Run District volleyball tournament on Monday night, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The Bulldogs had to come from behind in all three sets, including a 10-1 deficit in the opening set.
Rappahannock came out rolling behind six-foot-sophomore Summer Shackelford, who recorded five of her 11 kills on the night in that first set, along with an ace. Luray then went on a 10-1 run of their own and tied the set at 11-11 behind strong play from junior Gracie Embry and senior Lindsay Bly. It would again be tied at 14, 18 and 19, before Luray went on a final run to close out a 25-20 win.
The second set was a back-and-forth battle that never saw the gap grow more than four points between two teams that entered the match with identical 13-7 overall records and identical marks of 9-7 in the Bull Run. Through a half dozen lead changes Rapp was able to break away from a 13-13 tie and hold the lead all the way to a 24-21 advantage. However, Luray mounted a great team effort to go on a 5-0 run that claimed the second set in dramatic fashion, 26-24. Bly was pivotal in the second set, accounting for five points, to go along with four kills by fellow senior Jaidyn McClung.
McClung and Bly took over the third and final set, as the senior duo accounted for a dozen points — McClung with eight kills, and Bly with three aces and a kill. At 11-11, Luray broke away on a 5-0 run and outscored Rapp 14-6 over the remainder of the set to claim a 25-17 win.
McClung finished the night with 15 kills, while Bly recorded a total of eight kills, three aces and one block.
Embry had one of her better performances of the year with six kills, while junior Summer Forder posted three aces. Sophomore Avery Jewell and senior Claudia Cave each recorded two kills.
Rappahannock’s scoring was dominated by Shackelford, who had a total of 11 kills, two blocks and one ace. Junior Dakota Stringfellow had two kills, while freshman Chloe Jenkins had one. Both sophomore Brooke Atkins and junior Beth Barron recorded an ace.
With the win, Luray (14-7) advances to the Bull Run District semifinals and will travel to top-seeded East Rock (18-6) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night for a chance to compete for a district title on Thursday.
The other district semifinal features No. 3 Clarke (13-8) at No. 2 Central (16-5). All four quarterfinal matches in the Bull Run District tournament on Monday night were won by 3-0 margins.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
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This is a fantastic match summary. Details on the scoring by both the teams and their respective players is exceptional. As a former coach, I appreciate the specifics. Thanks.