Ivy Rieke, Beckville Take Down Miller Grove in Three Games
HAWKINS -- The Beckville Ladycats defeated the Miller Grove Lady Hornets in straight sets 25-7, 25-11, 25-21 in Tuesday's Class A Region III bi-district volleyball playoff behind a big night from Ivy Rieke.
The junior outside hitter took complete control of the match, tallying 16 kills, 11 digs, eight aces, three assists, and two blocks to lead the Ladycats into the area round of the Class A playoffs, where they'll face Dodd City on Thursday in Emory.
"(Rieke) is a very aggressive player who does a great job for us," said Beckville coach Cherry Downs. "She stays in her shell, but when she's on, she's on. And tonight she was on. I hope she's on every playoff game because it will definitely be better for us."
Beckville (21-11, 9-3) jumped on Miller Grove early and often in the first two sets behind the play of Rieke and a pair of outside hitters, Shelbi Dodson and Carson Blair. Beckville pulled away after a 17-4 start thanks four Rieke aces and two Dodson kills. Dodson contributed five kills and two blocks on the night. Blair, a freshman, added four kills.
"We had a great warm-up game last Friday against San Augustine, and that really brought us together," Downs said referring to the Ladycats' four-game win. "We've had good practices since then and I feel we started out strong because we've built to that level."
The second set was no different. Beckville started 8-0 behind three Rieke aces and three assists from setter Maya Bradford. Miller Grove fought back to narrow the margin to 16-6, but Rieke added three more kills with the help of two assists by Emma Smith. Bradford finished with six assists and 11 digs.
"I've got two strong outside hitters and two strong middle hitters, so we can take advantage of our hitting game," Downs said. "That is our game."
Miller Grove (20-21, 5-5), coming off a season in which the Lady Hornets won three games the previous year, was led by juniors Brandie McLane and Shelbi Potts. Each totaled eight kills, and senior setter Kelsey Steele added four assists and a pair of kills.
"I've got five seniors, and most of them have been on varsity since they were freshmen. They definitely know how to work as a team and know what's expected. They know how to work with each other. They talk to each other," Downs said. "I may not hear them call for a ball, but they know what to do between themselves."