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Warriors escape Eagles to advance

Stephanie King

The regular season is over and it is now time to win or go home. The 2018 2A State Volleyball Playoffs kicked off on Tuesday with the Wheatmore Warriors hosting the East Davidson Eagles. Wheatmore was coming off their eight straight PAC-7 conference tournament championship.

Wheatmore kicked off the state playoffs with a bang after opening the first set of play with a 15-6 run. The Warriors added three more points before the Eagles scored their next point. East Davidson tried to claw their way back into this one, but the Warriors would not let them. After East Davidson cut the lead to 19-8, the Warriors went on a 6-0 run to close out the first set. Hope Turbyfill picked up a kill and Carson Elliott added an ace during the run for the Warriors. Wheatmore took the first set 25-8.

Things turned up in the second set as East Davidson matched the Warriors point for point for most of the set. Wheatmore took the first point, but the Eagles quickly tied the set at 1-1. The Eagles took at 4-3 lead over the Warriors before a hit from Turbyfill tied the set at 4 all. From there, the Warriors went on a 4-0 run behind a kill from Kelly Williams and an ace from Kennedy Powell. East Davidson responded with a 4-0 run of their own to tie the set at 8 all. Wheatmore jumped back in front and took a 19-13 lead before the Eagles made their move. East Davidson used an 8-1 run to take a 21-20 lead over the Warriors. Wheatmore tied the set at 21 all before the Eagles outscored then 4-1 one to take the set 25-22.

East Davison grabbed the first point of the first set but fell behind as the Warriors took a 2-1 lead. The set stayed close for the next few minutes as the teams traded points back and forth. East Davidson was leading 7-6 when the Warriors went on a 5-0 run for an 11-7 lead. A till and kill from Elliott helped lead the Warriors to their lead.  The Lady Eagles quickly cut the lead to two, but Wheatmore responded by pushing the lead back out. A kill from Lauren Wright and a kill from Turbyfill helped lead the Warriors to an 18-11 lead. East Davidson scored back to back points, but it was not enough as the Warriors closed out the set on a 7-1 run for a 25-14 set win.

The fourth set of play started much like the previous two as the teams stayed within a point of each other early on. East Davidson took the first point, but Wheatmore quickly tied and took a 4-1 lead behind a hit from Powell. The Lady Eagles responded by tying the set at 4 all. Moments later a block from Wright gave the Warriors a 6-4 lead, but the Eagles fought back to tie the set at 6 all before taking a 7-6 lead. Powell killed the ball over the net to tie the set at 7 all. Wheatmore maintained their lead and led 12-10 after a point by the Eagles. Turbyfill took over the serving duties for the Warriors and led them on a 10-0 run for a 22-10 lead over the Eagles. East Davidson went on a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 23-15, but the Warriors scored the final two points to win the set 25-15. Wheatmore won the match three sets to one to advance to the second round of the 2A State Volleyball Playoffs.

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