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Blue Devils too much for West Lincoln

West Lincoln’s Amanda Ritch goes up for the shot over a Maiden defender during the teams’ conference game on Thursday.

By RYAN HERMAN
Sports Editor

MAIDEN –– West Lincoln’s volleyball team gave Maiden all it could, but in the end getting past the Blue Devils was just too tall of a task.
Maiden’s tall front line overpowered the Rebels on Thursday, knocking down a total of 21 kills as it cruised to a 3-0 win to remain on top of the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference.
The win, coupled with wins by Newton-Conover (3-0 over Lincolnton) and Bunker Hill (3-0 over Bandys), has Maiden (7-1 SD-7) in a three-way tie for first.
While the Blue Devils enjoy sitting on top of the conference, the Rebels (2-6 SD-7) saw firsthand what it takes in the new league to get there.
“They’re a heck of a good team,” West Lincoln coach Tammy Leatherman said. “Maiden’s going to go a long ways.”
Led by Holland Laxton and Rachel Cook, Maiden pounded the open court –– and right at the Rebels –– with spike after spike as it built an early lead and never looked back.
The Blue Devils won the first set 25-9, Set 2 25-7 and the final set 25-13.
“That’s all you can do –– do the best you can do when you play somebody like that,” Leatherman said. “I’m not mad, I’m not disappointed. I think we played decent against who we were playing.”
Maiden’s hard-hitting attack also forced West Lincoln into its unfair share of errors. The Rebels had 35 miscues on the night, which did not help their cause.
Nonetheless, there were some bright spots for West Lincoln.
It actually led early in the third set at 2-1, and kept it close until a late outburst –– a trio of kills from Laxton –– allowed Maiden to pull away and close the door.
Megan Gloska had a kill, ace and a dig, Amanda Ritch had a block, kill and an ace, and Erin Huff had a kill and a dig for a West Lincoln squad that, despite being overmatched, never gave up.
“We did some good things. You’ll have to admit, those were some hard hits coming off (our) back row,” Leatherman said. “Some of my middles really got up on some of those balls.”

Image courtesy of Jaclyn Anthony / Lincoln Times-News

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