~ PVN staff report
LURAY, Oct. 21 — Tonight, the Luray Bulldogs host the Page County Panthers for their second regular season meeting in volleyball at 7:15 p.m. Luray took the first match in three sets at Page on Sept. 27.
The Bulldogs enter tonight’s regular season finale looking for a win after three-straight losses. Last week saw Luray have one match canceled on Monday due to COVID protocols, followed by a 3-0 loss on Tuesday at East Rock and a 3-1 loss to Clarke at home on Thursday. This week also started rough with a 3-0 loss Tuesday at Rappahannock.
However, despite the roughest patch of the season, the Bulldogs are still 11-7 overall, and 7-7 with a fifth-place standing in the Bull Run District. Luray will qualify for the Region B quarterfinals next week, but will likely travel in the first round on Monday.
The Panthers enter’s tonight volleyball match-up with a 5-11 record, but also with two wins against Strasburg this week — 3-1 on the road Monday, and 3-0 at home Tuesday. After starting the season 1-7, the Panthers have won three of their last six matches.
After traveling to Luray Thursday night, Page concludes their regular season by hosting Rappahannock on Friday. The Panthers dropped a Sept. 14 match to Rapp in three sets. Page is also primed to make the field in the Region B tournament, but they will also travel in the first round as a lower seed.
The Luray football team (4-1) will travel to Strasburg (5-1) Friday night for a key Bull Run District match up. The Bulldogs fell on the road to East Rock last Friday, 37-20. Luray still sits in third place in the district with key games coming up against Strasburg and Clarke.
Last Friday, Luray held a 14-10 halftime advantage against East Rock after junior Brady Jenkins broke loose for a 45-yard scamper to the end zone and junior Caden Stevens snagged a 91-yard touchdown reception. Luray’s only second half score came from sophomore Braden Ancell from 17 yards out. East Rock dominated the second half, outscoring Luray 27-6 in the final two frames.
Clarke County (3-0, 6-1) is currently the only undefeated team remaining in the Bull Run District. While the Bulldogs will clearly make the Region B playoffs, Luray is still fighting for home field advantage in the quarterfinal round Nov. 12. After traveling to Strasburg on Friday, Luray hosts Clarke Oct. 29 before ending the regular season at Madison Nov. 5.
The Panthers (4-4) have a bye this week after defeating Petersburg (W.Va.) 57-12 last Friday night at home. Senior Blake Turpen racked up 257 yards — 219 in the first half — and four touchdowns in the lop-sided, non-district, interstate game. Page lead 44-6 at the half as they gained 332 yards in the first two quarters compared to the opponent’s 10.
Sophomore Hunter Creel scored a touchdown and did a nice job stepping in for injured junior quarterback Hayden Plum. Senior Aidan Painter had a solid night with 87 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Stephon Hawkins added 81 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
With their only win in the district coming by forfeit, the Panthers have fallen short of pre-season expectations, and now injury — at a key position — has caused further setbacks. However, Page will still make the Region B tournament for the third straight year, and anything can happen in the post season. It will mark only the third time Page has advanced to the playoffs in football since 1993.
Next up, the Panthers host Strasburg on Friday, Oct. 28, before ending the regular season at Clarke on Nov. 5.
To check schedules, rosters, results and standings for local high school sports,
see the Bull Run District website.