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D-B closes out perfect Big 6 slate

Jeff Birchfield • Sep 26, 2018 at 12:40 AM

KINGSPORT — The Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team completed an undefeated run through the Big 6 Conference on Tuesday with a 25-12, 25-21, 25-15 win over Tennessee High inside the Buck Van Huss Dome.

In the final home match for seniors Chloe Harless, Abby Fannon, Bailee Bentley and Courtney Whitson, the Lady Indians left nothing to chance. They jumped out to an early advantage and never let up.

The only losses for D-B (31-3, 10-0) have come to Nashville-area Station Camp and a pair of South Carolina teams. The Lady Indians were challenged by local teams Daniel Boone and Science Hill in recent weeks, but they’ve answered the call each time.

“We had a mission at the beginning of the season in what we wanted to do,” D-B coach Megan Devine said. “We’ve taken it one game at a time and we didn’t care about what was in front of us at the end. We wanted to take each game play by play and check that off the list. We kept moving forward and we went undefeated at the end of regular conference play. Now, we have to be ready to play come tournment time.”

Hannah Watson led the Tribe’s efforts with 16 kills and four blocks, and Whitson had 12 kills and two aces.

The Lady Indians had challenged themselves in the Tournament of Champions in Spartanburg, S.C., over the weekend, which Devine said made them play at another level.

They were certainly a level above the Lady Vikings (13-12 overall) on Tuesday. Fannon came through with 19 assists and two aces and Rylee Waye had 16 assists for the Lady Indians.

“I couldn’t have done it without my defense,” Fannon said, referring to setting up so many points. “They were pushing the tempo and they made it easy for me. There was a lot of adrenaline with it being Senior Night, and seeing all my family there, it made it bittersweet.”

Harless was the defensive leader with 24 digs. Carly Shell and Zoie Larkins each had 12 digs, and Shell also came through with five service aces.

Harless was sentimental about playing for the last time on the Lady Indians’ home court and sharing the moment with others.

“It was exhilarating, seeing all our family and friends,” she said. “We had all of our teammates waiting on us over there. It was very humbling and exciting to see. We just tried to do our best for each other, our school and the love for the game.”

Devine was complimentary of the roles all four seniors have played throughout the season. Whitson was a two-time Big 6 MVP in 2015-16 before being injured last year. She has come back with a vengeance, recording 21 kills a week earlier in a five-set win over Science Hill.

“All four are leaders on and off the court,” Devine said. “This season has been special because everybody loves each other and believes in each other. That starts with Chloe, the libero, in my opinion the best defensive player in the conference. Abby Fannon, our center, did a great job spreading the offense. Bailee put it away in the front row and being a big-time blocker for us. Courtney, everybody knows she’s one of the dominant players in our league.”

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