HOPE/WHITE CITY – It was an eventful week for the Lady Heat volleyball team as they fought through their schedule amongst a COVID-19 scare that forced last minute lineup changes.

Tuesday, Rural Vista hosted Wakefield and Elyria Christian in Wheat State League play. The Heat found out just hours before the games that they would be without four starters due to contact with a suspected positive COVID-19 case. With no practice and very little time to prepare, the Heat put some makeshift lineups together that resulted in a very young Lady Heat team. They took the floor with three freshmen, a sophomore, two juniors and one senior.

In the first game, Rural Vista showed a lot of fight battling back from a 20-24 first set deficit to win 26-24. The Heat were unable to carry the momentum through the rest of the game eventually falling in three sets to Wakefield 26-24, 22-25, 19-25.

Sophomore Kacie Acres led the way for the Heat with 14 kills in the match. Senior setter Chancy Johnson paced the Heat with 13 assists followed by freshman Shaylee Sanford who had eight assists. Leah Reidy led the defensive effort for the Heat with 16 digs and 18 good serve receptions.

Serving was a strong point for Rural Vista led by freshman Kambyl Reidy and Shaylee Sanford who had nine aces between them. Another freshman, Bailey Rapp, also stepped up to get her first varsity playing time and she finished with three kills and seven digs. Sydney Friedli added one kill for the Heat.

In the second match of the night, Rural Vista took on Elyria Christian, who entered the game ranked in Class 1A-Div. 2.

“The Elyria game was different,” Heat head coach Adam Sobba said. “We played with so much energy and just looked relaxed.”

Rural Vista rode the energy for a two-set victory over Elyria 25-20, 25-21. Acres once again led the team with six kills and added a career high 14 digs. Johnson had 12 digs and eight assists in the match. Sanford had a great serving game with six aces. Rapp added 15 kills while Kambyl Reidy added four kills.

“Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of our team and how we handled the situation that was given to us,” Sobba said. “I think it says a lot about our kids as well and what we have established overall as a program. For those young girls to get thrown into the game like that with no practice really shows how well they have been preparing in practice. It really lets us, as coaches know that what we are doing with them is paying off. I also thought we got a lot of leadership from the girls who do play varsity. Chancy, Kacie and Leah did a great job helping lead the team through tough stretches of the night.”

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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