Buffalo Gap stops Stonewall in three straight sets

QUICKSBURG – The firm of Ashby & Hanger was open for business Monday night as Buffalo Gap whipped Stonewall Jackson 3-0 in straight sets in Shenandoah District volleyball play.

The Bison (1-4, 4-5) arrived at its first league win while the Generals (0-4, 3-8) continue the search. The score was 25-18, 25-12 and 25-22.

“We’re better than last year (when the Generals won once), which was our goal this year,” said Stonewall coach Lindsey Dinges. “We’ve just got to play better.”

Even so, the home team could not stop setter Camille Ashby, who heaped up 31 assists, while teammate Emily Hanger (15 kills) was on the receiving end of many of the Ashby passes. Ashby, a sophomore, set a Buffalo Gap assist-per-game mark (45) beforehand.

“She’s smart in there. She knows where to go with the ball,” said Buffalo Gap coach Elizabeth Ashby.

Coach Ashby welcomed back Hanger and fellow hitter Abby Flint (six kills) in the previous game, a loss to Luray, but the two were obviously active at the Stonewall gym.

To go with her many kills, Hanger had two blocks and three aces. Camille Ashby added five kills and four aces.

“Emily and Abby were out with sprained ankles, so we’re glad to get them back,” said Elizabeth Ashley.

Buffalo Gap, which had lost five in a row entering Monday’s match, went ahead 7-2 in the first set, but Stonewall tied it at 7 on a Bison unforced error.

In the same set, the Bison cruised ahead 15-8, but the Generals rallied again to trail by one at 15-14, 16-15 and 17-16. From the latter point, the visitors rallied for five straight points en route to the first-set victory.

Stonewall coach Dinges said that the second set has been a challenge for her team all season and the one against Buffalo Gap was no exception. The set was tied at 2, but the Bison scored 11 straight points and never looked back.

“That’s been a bad set for us all year. The girls really talked and communicated through the first game, but we didn’t talk in the second set,” said Dinges.

The third set was better for Stonewall Jackson. The Generals tied it at 5, but found themselves down 19-13 when they started a second rally. They tied the set at 19 off kills by Elizabeth Moomaw and Emily Ball.

Gap coach Elizabeth Ashby called timeout and saw her team go ahead 21-19 on kills by Katie Foster and Hanger.

Then it was Dinges’ turn to call time, but the Bison extended their lead to 23-20. Stonewall stared down a couple of match points to pull within 24-22 on an ace by Juliana Brill.

“We’re working on more consistency from Juliana, but she served well tonight,” said Dinges.

The Stonewall coach had her gall bladder removed last Wednesday and had not set foot on the gym floor until Monday. Her team practiced Wednesday and Thursday, but did not go to school on Friday due to the weather.

Sierra Clifton had six kills and three blocks from Buffalo Gap.

Brittany Singleton recorded three kills and three blocks for Stonewall. Israel Blank recorded three kills, a block and an assist.