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Hidden Valley Holds Off Tough Carroll County For Region 3D Title

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
That was the route the Hidden Valley volleyball embraced Wednesday night in the Titan gym as Hidden Valley held off a talented Carroll County team for the 25-19; 28-26; 25-15 sweep over the Cavaliers in the Region 3D voleyball final.
Make no mistake about it, while the final score said sweep, the visitors from Hillsville brought it all down Route 221 and certainly put the Titans on guard. Hidden Valley was ready.
The second set was the turning point after Hidden Valley had gradually pulled away in the opening set to go up 1-0.
Carroll County scored the first two points to begin the second before Hidden Valley battled back to take a 9-8 lead. Carroll County scored three straight points to go up 12-10. The Cavaliers and Titans then locked in with exceptional play on hoth sides as neither squad could get their lead past 2. The Cavaliers broke a 20-20 deadlock with a score, but Titan sensation Cam Davenport answered with a blistering kill to make it 21-21. Davenport struck for 8 kills in the set and freshman Caleigh Ponn was all over the court with sets and digs to help keep the Cavs at bay.
The Cavaliers used a drive to the back sideline by senior Madison Stockner and a slick dink by sophomore Alyssa Ervin for two straight and a 23-21 advantage. Carroll County looked to have all the momentum, but Hidden Valley responded with three straight points fueled by a Davenport ace and sat at 24-23 match point. But, the Cavs wouldn’t go away without a fight.
Carroll County scored to knot things at 24 and the Titans answered to go up 25-24 match point. The Cavaliers scored two straight to serve at 26-25 match point but a service error for the winner gave Hidden Valley an opening with the score tied at 26. The Titans then scored two straight, a drop shot from Ponn, capped off by senior Faith Mitchell’s service point to seal the deal for the second set win.
Hidden Valley quickly put away any notions of a Carroll County comeback in the third set by breaking away from a 6-5 advantage with an 11-2 run capped off by another Davenport laser that put the Titans on cruise control with the 10-point lead. The Cavaliers could get no closer than 8 the rest of the way.
“Carroll County brought it tonight,” Hidden Valley senior setter Emily Dudley noted after the match. “We watched film and knew they were good. The second set comeback for us was the key and we practice those situations on what to do when we’re behind late in the set. When I serve, I just take a deep breath. Tonight it all paid off.”
Hidden Valley hoists the Region 3D championship trophy after its 3-0 win Wednesday night.

“Carroll County is good,” Titan head coach Carla Ponn emphaticallky noted afterward. “They pass well, they hit well, they’re coached well and their team chemistry is good. The win in the second set was huge for us. We practice what to do in the situation we were in. I told the girls in the late timeout to pull it out and hopefully take the wind out of their sails.”

Davenport finished with 25 kills and 10 digs. Ponn added 13 kills and 6 digs, while Mitchell had 25 assists, 3 kills and 3 aces. Dudley set thev table for the Titans with 21 assists.
Stockner paced Carroll County with 12 kills, with senior Carli Love adding 11 kills and 6 digs. Senior Kalee Bunn had 19 assists for the Cavs.
“My girls played very hard and kept fighting,” Carroll County head coach Cindy Edwards noted after the match. “I’m very proud of them. Cam Davenport is very hard to defend.”
Hidden Valley remained undefeated (26-0) in regular best-of-five matches and will advance to the Class-3 state quaterfinals against Fort Defiance on Saturday afternoon in the Titan gym.. Carroll County moves on as region runner-up and travels to Rustburg. Hidden Valley can stay near home if it continues to win. A victory Saturday will put the state semifinal at Hidden Valley on Tuesday.  The Class 3 state final will play out at the Salem Civic Center next next Saturday, November 20 at 4:30PM
Bill Turner

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