WILMINGTON — In what is sure to go down as a volleyball classic, East Clinton outlasted Wilmington 22-25, 29-27, 25-22, 22-25, 17-15 at Fred Summers Court.
“It was fun,” EC coach Sarah Sodini said. “Nobody was ever too comfortable.”
Six points was the largest spread of the night and that was for the Astros early in the third set. Otherwise this was a back and forth, nip and tuck, high-energy, emotionally gut-wrenching battle between two highly skilled county rivals.
“I am proud of these girls,” said WHS head coach Stephanie Reveal. “The fight they have with the adversity they had been dealt says a lot for the group of girls they are.”
Wilmington’s Caroline Diels recorded the 1,000th set assist of her WHS career.
East Clinton won its sixth straight match and goes to 14-2 with the win while Wilmington falls to 12-4 and has its seven-match win streak stopped.
For the Astros, Libby Evanshine wowed the crowed with 38 kills and 22 digs, to go along with an ace and two blocks.
Megan Tong had two aces, five blocks, four kills, 21 assists and 13 digs. Kami Whiteaker had seven aces, five kills, a block, two assists and nine digs. Jordan Collom had five aces, 26 assists and 13 digs. Savannah Tolle finished with four aces and 28 digs. Eryn Bowman had an assist, a kill and three digs. Jozie Jones had two kills, a block and two digs. Lauren Stonewall had three kills, two blocks, an assist and two digs.
The Astros lost Lauren Runyon prior to the match. She suffered a serious injury during warmups.
“I was concerned,” Sodini said. “She is like a rock.”
Wilmington played without Sydney McCord who was ill and then lost standout Brynn Bryant late in the match when she hit her head on the floor while making a play on an East Clinton attack.
“The younger kids stepped on the court for the first time and they’ll be ready the next time,” Reveal said of Aidynne Tippett, Lauren Diels and Ava Hester.
The young Astros stepped up as well to provide thrilling points in each set. The large crowd on hand was hanging on every serve, dig, set and kill.
Diels finished with 12 points, 16 kills, 17 assists, an ace and 15 digs. Lexus Reiley had five kills and seven blocks. Brynn Bryant had 13 points, 11 kills, 19 assists, two aces and 28 digs, several of those on Evanshine bombs.
Lisbon Smith had nine points, six kills, four aces, 16 digs and two blocks. Ashley Delph had seven points, three kills, an ace, four digs and a block. Madi Schuster totaled two points and 26 digs. Kayla O’Dell had four points, an ace and eight digs. Layla Reynolds had two digs.