EB volleyball 3, Freedom 0

East Burke's Erica Clontz (right) returns the ball past Freedom's Mia Harper (14) and Danisha Hemphill (13) during Tuesday's match in Morganton.

The East Burke volleyball squad continued a strong start to the season on Tuesday, defeating nonconference rival Freedom on the road, 25-11, 25-20, 25-13.

The Lady Cavaliers (3-0) set the early tone with veteran starters Graleigh Hildebran and Eric Clontz both displaying powerful attacks and accurate serves to secure points.

Dani Foxx’ strong play near the net late lifted EB to the second-set win despite Freedom’s Sarah Phipps notching multiple running and diving digs to control possessions, with teammate Mia Harper scoring on several spikes and recording a couple powerful blocks.

The third set’s outcome was much like the first, with EB’s Riley Haas supplying multiple emphatic blocks and spikes to power her team to the victory. She ended the matches with six blocks, the most for either team.

“We had many key passes, and our players showed drive and hustle, especially in the first and third sets,” Lady Cavs coach Tracy Greene said. “The second was close, and it was a battle with Freedom, but we toughed it out and got the win.”

Haas added five kills, and EB was also led on the stat sheet by Hildebran (19 assists, 11 digs, three kills), Clontz (10 kills) and Ashlyn Stilwell (14 digs).

Freedom won the teams’ earlier JV match, 26-24, 18-25, 15-8.


Patton 3, S. Caldwell 0

The Lady Panthers (4-1) won for a second straight day Tuesday at home, 25-11, 25-18, 25-20, continuing the best start in program history.

Ella Gragg had 16 kills, 10 digs, four aces and two blocks in a second consecutive double-double for Patton, which was also led statistically by Izora Gragg (21 assists, four kills, four digs, two aces), Kenady Roper (15 digs, three aces, three assists, two kills) and  Cameron Greene (four aces, block).

Patton’s Ashlyn Castle added seven digs, six kills and two aces, Katie Stoudenmire had nine assists, Christina Skelly had seven digs, five kills and two aces and Lilly Brown had three digs.

In a 22-25, 20-25 JV loss, Meredith Kearson had nine digs, Kinley Attaway had six assists and two aces and Hayley Caraway had two kills.


Draughn 3, Avery Co. 0

The Lady Wildcats (3-1) won their home opener Tuesday in Valdese, 25-6, 25-19, 25-13, as Kirsten Powell finished with a team-high 18 kills. The Draughn JVs were also victorious, 25-15, 25-10. No more statistics were available.



Draughn opens at Mtn. Glen

The Lady Wildcats opened the season with Tuesday’s nine-hole nonconference match at Mountain Glen Golf Club against host McDowell as well as Avery County, Mountain Heritage and T.C. Roberson.

The team did not record a score as it had only two golfers. Draughn’s Lindsey Hodge shot 63 and first-year player Charis Hyde shot 70. Draughn is back at Mountain Glen next week to face Avery and Hendersonville in an 18-hole nonconference match.



The East Burke girls tennis opening match versus West Caldwell was postponed due to rain Tuesday and will be played Thursday. Last week’s East Rutherford at Freedom boys soccer rainout will also be played Thursday, while Thursday’s Draughn at Freedom JV football game has been canceled.


Patrick McCormack can be reached at sports@morganton.com.

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