By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 6 — After a disappointing ending to last season, the Luray volleyball team has high expectations for their 2022 campaign… and the Bulldogs helped fuel those expectations with a sweep of Strasburg on Tuesday night in their home opener.
Luray held a 24-12 lead in the first set before allowing the Rams to rattle off six-straight points. Senior Jaidyn McClung — last season’s Region B “Player of the Year” — recorded four kills during the opening set to spark a 25-18 win.
Fellow senior Lyndsey Bly took over in the second set and recorded four kills of her own, to go along with three blocks. After a back-and-forth battle to reach 10-10, Luray pulled away and maintained the lead en route to a 25-16 win.
The third set was less competitive with the Bulldogs capping off the sweep 25-10. McClung finished the night with nine kills and four aces, while Bly posted seven kills, three blocks and an ace.
The Rams have only won two of the 17 sets they have played this season.
After a loss at Central last Thursday, Luray’s win over Strasburg balances the Bulldogs out at 1-1 in the Bull Run District. Luray lost the Central road match in three straight sets — 25-16, 25-23 and 25-21.
The Bulldogs kicked off the season with two non-district, road wins — in six straight sets — over Stuarts Draft on Aug. 23, and Buffalo Gap on Aug. 25.
In the season opener at Stuarts Draft, Luray won the sweep — 25-18, 25-21, 25-16 — thanks to 10 kills by McClung, who also recorded 12 digs and an ace. It was also a good night for junior Gracie Embrey, who posted six kills, nine digs and one block. Bly put in another well-rounded performance with three kills, three aces, 11 digs and five blocks.
After starting last season 11-4, Luray finished by losing its last five regular season matches, and then two more in the playoffs — falling in the first round of both the Bull Run and Region B tournaments. Those memories linger in the minds of the Bulldogs, who are looking to make a much deeper run in the playoffs this season.
Next up, Luray (3-1) will host the Bison of Buffalo Gap for a non-district match at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, while Strasburg (0-5) hosts Madison (3-1).
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
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