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Brooks claims VHSL record, Abingdon captures title

Kevin Mays • Nov 3, 2019 at 1:29 AM

ABINGDON — Union’s Emili Brooks made VHSL history, but Abingdon took home the championship.

Using a strong front-line attack, the Lady Falcons earned a 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 win over the Lady Bears in the Mountain 7 District volleyball championship Saturday.

Brooks had 14 kills in the match, giving her 1,728 for her career. The total surpassed the VHSL record of 1,716 held by Fort Defiance’s Megan Good.

Brooks may have set a state mark, but Abingdon (24-3) was the team that set the bar in the district this season.

“That was one of our goals, to be undefeated at home, which we’ve done, and to be undefeated in the district,” said Abingdon coach Rachel Kopp. “So I’m pretty pleased.”

Abingdon, the only Class 3 school in the Mountain 7, will host Magna Vista on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Region 3D quarterfinals.

“The teams in our district don’t like us very much,” Kopp noted. “We’re in the district and we can’t help it. We wanted to make a statement and I think we did.”

Union, the top seed from the district in the Region 2D tournament, will host Marion on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Lady Bears coach Kim Moore had nothing but praise for the Lady Falcons.

“Abingdon’s a great team. They’re solid and they’re bigger on the block than us. We had some weakness on the block, getting it over the block,” Moore said. “We have a tendency to get down on ourselves and tonight we got down on ourselves a little bit.

“We’ve got to be able to handle that attack and shake off errors and get right back on track.”

Moore also was thrilled with Brooks’ accomplishment — and how she expects her star player to handle the accolade.

“Emili’s awesome. And I know that she will give her teammates credit because she’s had some great teammates throughout the years that have helped her accomplish this,” Moore said.

THE NUMBERS

Morgan Blevins led Abingdon with 20 kills, 18 digs and six service aces.

The Lady Falcons also got 11 kills, three blocks and eight digs from Katie Harless, Cassie Farley finished with seven kills and five blocks and Emme Thompson added 39 assists, three aces and eight digs.

Brooks added 16 digs to her kill total, and Jayda Smith totaled 13 kills and 12 digs. Brook Bailey had 31 assists and nine digs, Desi Brooks added six kills and Isabella Blagg came through with 22 digs for Union.

GATE CITY WINS INTENSE CONSOLATION MATCH

The consolation match had no impact on the field for the Region 2D tournament, but it meant a lot to the two rivals playing.

Gate City took the third-place trophy with a 17-25, 25-18, 10-25, 25-20, 15-12 win over John Battle.

Coach Amy Reed’s Lady Blue Devils (15-10) will host Richlands on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Region 2D quarterfinals, the same matchup they would have had if they’d lost.

Reed said the contest nevertheless was important for her team.

“You step into a gymnasium and you’ve got everybody, refs, reporters, everybody rooting against Gate City. That’s just the tradition that Gate City in itself brings and you better be ready to play,” Reed said. “Anytime you’re competing with somebody across the net, it’s competition.”

Ashley Stanley finished with 12 kills, 18 assists and two blocks for the Lady Blue Devils. Sarah Thompson had 12 kills and 16 digs, Kinslee Hammonds added 11 kills and two blocks, and Brooklyn Smith and Bel Sallee added nine and eight kills.

The Lady Blue Devils also got 29 assists and three aces from Kaley Jenkins, 24 digs from Lexie Summers and 18 digs from Aubrie Penley.

John Battle (11-14) got 12 kills from Emma Harmon and 10 kills from Kelsey Blaylock. Keelie Pippin had 27 assists and Bethany Smith finished with 24 digs for the Lady Trojans, who will travel Lebanon on Wednesday for a Region 2D quarterfinal.

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