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Dugger Union closes out volleyball season with a win

By B.J. Hargis
Photo by B.J. Hargis: Dugger Union senior Rainy Kinnard wipes away tears on senior night.

DUGGER — There were happy tears all around as the Dugger Union volleyball team concluded the season with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-13 victory over visiting Wabash Valley Homeschool on Tuesday night.
“It was a great way to end this season,” said Dugger Union coach Lois Astleford. “We ended up with either four or five wins.
“The first time we played Wabash Valley at their place, it took five sets to get a win. Tonight, we did it in three. I was really proud of the girls.”
It was senior night for the Lady Bulldogs as Rainy Kinnard, Abby Babb and foreign exchange student Aliia Kydyrmaeva were honored before the match.
“This was Rainy’s night,” said Astleford. “We really tried to set her up all night.
“It was good to see Abby and Aliia also play well. Abby was our manager last year and I did not know if she could play or not. But she really stepped up and played well this year. Aliia was hurt early and I’m glad she was able to finish the season healthy.”
Kinnard led the Lady Bulldogs with eight aces on 13 of 17 serving. She also had a team-best nine kills to go with two digs. Babb was 5 of 5 serving with one ace and one dig and Kydyrmaeva was 2-for-2 on serve.
“Rainy was very emotional after finishing her volleyball career,” said Astleford. “She has played the last four years and been a big part of this program.”
Kinnard served four aces during a 5-0 spurt, putting the Lady Bulldogs ahead 19-15 in set one.
Maddie Vandeventor came up with a winner on match point.
The Lady Bulldogs led 5-0 in the second set, but Wabash Valley went on a 15-5 outburst, taking a 15-10 advantage.
Dugger Union used a 15-8 edge to win the set.
In set No. 3, Kinnard made six serves in a row as the Lady Bulldogs went ahead 12-5.
Mollie Pittman, who finished 5 of 6 on serve with one ace, two kills and one block, connected on four serves in a row as the Lady Bulldogs forged ahead 17-7 and cruised to the finish line.
“It was a rough start to the season,” said coach Astleford. “We had to do a lot of team bonding.
“We had to learn how to trust each other. In some cases, girls had to learn how to play new positions or adjust to being on the court in a game for the first time. Rainy will be a key loss, but we are already making plans for off-season conditioning. We are looking forward to next year.”

Dugger Union stats
Rainy Kinnard — 13 of 17 serving, 8 aces, 9 kills, 2 digs.
Madison Marlow — 7 of 8 serving, 4 aces, 3 kills.
Maddy Vandeventor — 1 kill.
Aliia Kydyrmaeva — 2 of 2 serving.
Abby Babb — 5 of 5 serving, 1 ace, 1 dig.
Mollie Pittman — 5 of 6 serving, 1 ace, 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig.
Kinley Ballard — 1 of 1 serving.
Mia Marlow — 1 of 1 serving.
Ashelon Tilton — 2 of 4 serving, 1 ace.
Emily Astleford — 4 of 5 serving, 2 aces, 3 kills.
Kaylee Williams — 4 of 4 serving, 2 aces.
Kaylee Ballard — 6 of 7 serving, 1 ace.

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