By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
COUNCIL, Va. —
Snow days are usually slow days for high school kids.
It was a slow day for Haysi, but it was fast times Wednesday afternoon for Honaker High.
The Tigers glided over the Haysi Tigers in a three-game sweep in a playoff for the Black Diamond District regular season title at Council Elementary School.
Honaker scored the first point in the rubber match between the two long-time rivals just seconds after a school bell, inadvertently left on despite a snow day in Buchanan County, rang at 3:15 p.m. The Tigers trailed only briefly the rest of the way in a 25-19, 25-13, 25-19 victory.
A fast start and a quick pace was part of the game plan for Honaker, which won the first match between the two 3-0, and won the first two games in the second meeting before Haysi stormed back to a 3-2 win.
“Our plan this time was to get off to a quick start and get the pace we wanted,” Honaker coach Amy Davidson said. “We fell off that a little bit, but then we picked it right back up.”
A team filled with seniors had a long talk among themselves about getting another shot at Haysi and winning another BDD title in their last shot at the crown.
“We talked about how much we wanted to win this for our seniors,” said Emily Kendrick, one of eight seniors on the Honaker squad. “We got on a roll at the start.
“We really hustled and hustle was what won it for us. We really got on floor and picked a lot of stuff out to keep (rallies) going.”
Everybody had at least a couple of digs for Honaker, but it was Alex Bartley’s service game that set the tone. The senior landed three straight aces early in a 10-0 run that staked the Tigers to a 14-4 lead in the opening set. Bartley finished with 19 service points.
Three different Honaker Tigers combined on four straight kills at the end of the rally. Kendrick landed two and two other seniors, Meghan Hess and Tori Herndon, each added one at the net.
Hess finished with 12 kills and Kendrick had eight kills, 10 service points and nine assists. Bartley also contributed 11 assists.
Hyden came up with 12 digs, but had just seven kills after getting 17 kills and eight blocks in Haysi’s win over Honaker earlier in the season. Hannah Mondrage had 13 assists and Angel Bryant added eight kills for the Tigers.
Haysi battled back to within one point, 17-16, in the opening game and led 2-1 and 3-1 in the next two before Honaker gradually pulled away. Otherwise the snow days were not kind to Haysi, said head coach Lenior Jones. Honaker and Russell County went back to school Wednesday. Haysi did not.
Dickenson County was one of the hardest hit areas in southwest Virginia this week when the snowstorm that collided with the western edge of Hurricane Sandy brought early winter weather to the area.
It forced most schools to close early on Monday, including Dickenson County. Schools remained closed Tuesday and Wednesday and a number of county residents were still without power Wednesday afternoon.
Both teams will be back in action tonight in BDD tournament semifinal play at Honaker. Haysi will face either Twin Valley or Council right after a 5:30 p.m. BDD JV title game. Honaker plays Grundy, a 25-16, 25-11, 25-23 winner over Hurley in a Wednesday play-in match.