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The Clayton Greyhounds defeated Gateway STEM this evening to advance in the district tournament.

Clayton Girls Volleyball Team advances in Districts

Earlier this evening, the Greyhounds put forward solid performances to defeat Gateway STEM and advance in districts.

October 29, 2019

Immediately, as the final ball dropped, the entire Clayton bench cleared in celebration. History had been made. The Clayton Girls Varsity Volleyball team defeated Gateway STEM to advance in the District Tournament, which has not been done in at least 10 years.

GaIn the first set, after allowing Gateway to score the first point, the Greyhounds quickly rebounded and never looked back. Sophomore, Sarah Taylor led the charge serving 21 consecutive points, with 9 of those being aces. With Taylor’s strong serving, the team also excelled both offensively and defensively. The entire front row was solid, using the game to gain experience for tougher opponents. Taylor says, “We took a lot of risks running plays, which is something we normally don’t do, but will definitely set us apart from other teams as we advance further into districts.”

The second set was just as impressive as the first. Serving was again a key factor in the successful performance. Additionally, the scrappiness of the defense was essential for the massive amounts of kills. As a whole the team came out ready to dominate. The team’s collective strong performance led the Greyhounds to wins in both sets with scores of 25-3 and 25-8, respectively. The team hopes the definitive win will carry momentum into later district matches. “Today’s match set a great tone for the week, it really showed us what we are capable of. That said, we only have room for improvement as we play harder teams,” says Taylor.

The team plans to go into the next District match with confidence. “We will need to make sure that we have a fast-paced practice in order for the team to come into the match ready to play and prepared to find our next gear of volleyball,” says Head Coach, Kyle McCord.

The team’s influential performance is a major milestone for the volleyball program. McCord says, “I am excited for the program as a whole. [Our win] is a symbol of the growth in Clayton volleyball that has happened over the last couple of years.” Senior, Rachel Markenson reiterates his idea: “We really started off as the underdogs a few years ago, and now we are an amazing team.”

The team has high expectations approaching the next round of districts. This year’s team support is unlike that of any previous year. “No one really gets upset if they aren’t getting as much playing time, and the whole team recognizes the importance of those who sit on the bench and cheer us on–they’re our biggest fans. All of us teammates are very close and usually able to workout any issues that may arise,” says Taylor.

1978. The last time a Clayton Volleyball team won Districts. The team looks to make history once again by breaking this decades-long record.

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