High school volleyball playoffs: Falcons move on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Staff report

MOUNT ULLA — Seven blocks by Emma Clarke and balanced kills from everywhere helped West Rowan advance in the 3A volleyball playoffs.

West swept Hickory 25-16, 25-18 and 25-16 on Tuesday.

“It was a sweep, but it’s not like it was a walk in the park,” West coach Jan Dowling said. “Hickory is a very good team, but I thought we were super-solid on defense and our ball control was good. We stayed loose and we played calm. We didn’t get in many crunch-time situations.”

West has won 17 in a row.

Next for the third-seeded Falcons (26-2) is a home matchup with 11th-seeded North Henderson (21-5) on Thursday.

Ashlee Ennis led West with 10 kills. Kelcie Love had seven, Clarke had six, while Maia Gaeta and Anna Grace Blackledge had five each. Setter Noe Gaeta had three kills.

Brooke Kennerly had 11 digs, while Ennis had nine.

Noe Gaeta had 31 assists and three blocks. Love had two blocks. Madelyn VonCanon had a good run serving.

A lot of people had a hand in the win, but the biggest stat was Clarke’s blocks.

“She was an intimidating presence,” Dowling said. “She was a monster.”


WEST JEFFERSON — Carson (13-15) ended the season with a 25-23, 25-21 and 25-22 loss at ninth-seeded Ashe County.

The 25th-seeded Cougars had a big lead in the first set (15-9) and led 22-19 late in the third set, but the Huskies (8-6) were able to rally and advance in the 3A playoffs.


HENDERSONVILLE — South Rowan ended the season with a 25-19, 25-17, 23-25 and 25-23 loss at second-seeded West Henderson (21-4).

Seeded 18th, South (17-7) came back to win the third set after trailing 20-16.

Avery Welch keyed the rally with kills for 21-all and 23-all and a block to win the set.

South jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth set, but couldn’t sustain momentum.

West Henderson caught up at 16-all. South scored on a combo block by Leah Rymer and Welch for 20-all. The last tie was at 21-all. Middle blocker Emma Bryson had a dynamic kill that pushed West Henderson ahead 23-21.