The William Byrd volleyball team has qualified for the Region 4D tournament and will open on the road next Tuesday, October 31. The girls will be trick or treating in Forest as they take on the top seeded Jefferson Forest Cavaliers.
The top eight teams in the 12 school region make the playoffs, and Byrd squeaked in as the eighth seed with a 7-15 record. Jefferson Forest is first at 18-2, so the Cavs will host Byrd at 6 pm Tuesday. Other first round games find second seeded Blacksburg hosting Amherst County, third seeded Carroll County home to Salem and fourth seeded Bassett against Liberty Christian Academy.
The teams are seeded by record, and that doesn’t take into account quality of schedule. William Byrd plays a very difficult schedule and the Terriers are confident they can play with anyone in the region.
Byrd opened Blue Ridge District tournament play Tuesday at William Fleming and lost a marathon match to second seeded Northside, 22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-22 and 17-15 in the deciding fifth set to 15. Byrd was down 10-3 in the fifth set but battled back to send it into extra serves.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Byrd coach Allison Thornton. “The ladies played their best game yet with lots of heart and passion only to fall just a little short in five sets.”
Lauren Heck led the offense with a career high 20 kills and three aces. Junior middle hitter Maddy Nance put down 10 kills and 4 blocks. Senior setter Elena Boitnott had a career best night with 42 assists and defensively Byrd was led by senior Mary Kate Price with 16 digs and freshman Grayce Dantzler with 14 digs.
Last Thursday the Terriers celebrated “Senior Night” in Vinton with a three-set win over visiting Staunton River, 25-15, 25-13 and 25-8. Datzler let the offensive attack with seven kills and seven assists and also notched five digs. Senior Heck had five kills and two aces and senior Hannah Shelton added five more aces, three kills and three digs.
Northside and Lord Botetourt will play in the Blue Ridge District final tonight at Fleming.