The Laurens Raiders’ volleyball team brought the 2019 season to an end Thursday night when it took on Westside and sent home its fans – and players – on a high note.
Laurens rallied from down two sets to one Thursday at home and notched its sixth victory of the season – and second straight to end the season – with a 25-17, 18-25, 24-26, 25-21, 15-11 decision. Mackenzie Ward had 23 kills, 10 digs and two blocks, while Callie Wzorek had 24 digs and 5 aces, and Rebekah Smith had 21 digs and 17 kills to help lead the way.
Brielle Macatiag added 15 digs, Kayla Moore had 13 digs, and Aija Davis had 15 digs and 5 aces.
Laurens won the match after rallying from what could’ve been a gut-wrenching third set. Having split the first two sets Laurens found itself up 24-20 after a kill from Ward, and with four set points in its pocket. Westside erased all those points and wound up winning the final six points of the set to grab the lead.
Laurens Head Coach Erin Lake said the tam got a little impatient in set three with its passing, but the Raiders were able to bounce back in the fourth to help force the winner-take-all fifth set – buoyed by executing the team’s strategy entering the match.
“The whole theme of the night was having patience. Westside is a great team and will rally back and forth,” Lake said. “We needed to wait for the right pass, the right set, and the right kill.”
Laurens held things together in the fourth set and got back-to-back aces from Emma Clough to close the set out, then pulled away in the fifth with five of the last six points – a run ended on a kill from Rebekah Smith.
LA 3, Richard Winn 1: The Crusaders shook off a tight third set to finish off the Eagles on the road, winning 25-21, 25-18, 2325, 25-17.
Katelyn Suttles had 11 sets and 5 aces, Payton Breen had 9 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces and 2 digs, and Madison Sherman had 7 kills, 3 aces, and 3 digs.
Clinton 3, Newberry 2: The Red Devils rallied from two sets down to knock off Newberry on the road, winning 11-25, 21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 17-15.
Madison Swindler had 11 kills, 6 digs and an ace for Clinton, while Addison Easter had 11 digs and 2 aces. Grayson Taylor added 4 blocks.
Clinton 5, Newberry 1: Clinton inched closer to another region championship by knocking off Newberry.
Laurens won four of the five singles matches played, with each victory coming in straight sets. Mary Catherine Dailey (No. 1 singles), Gracie Spangler (No. 3), Reese Gowan (No. 4) and Jerri Hill (No. 5) all got victories for Clinton, as did the No. 2 doubles team of Kaitey Threatt and Grace Johnson – which won by forfeit.
Clinton (9-2 overall, 8-0 region) hosts Emerald Monday.
Clinton 42, Mid-Carolina 13: The Red Devils remained undefeated in region play (2-0) and moved to 6-1 overall with a resounding victory at Wilder Stadium.
Austin Copeland had two offensive touchdowns – one rushing, one passing – and had a 105-yard interception return for a touchdown on defense. Jishon Copeland caught the touchdown pass from Copeland (20 yards) and rushed for a TD, while both Zae Cook and Bryson James had rushing touchdowns.
Laurens 25, Woodmont 14: Laurens led from start to finish against the Wildcats and picked up a victory at home.
Cayson Elledge rushed for an 86-yard touchdown after Collin Hill recovered a Woodmont fumble to help get the scoring going in the first quarter, while James Rawl hit Elledge for a 37-yard scoring pass late in the first half to help Laurens to a 13-6 lead. Gemere Darden rushed for a 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter, then rushed for a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, to wrap the scoring.