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Bluestone spikers look to build on success / August 14, 2019

Bluestone volleyball saw a surge in tryout numbers this season as 31 girls came out to vie for a spot on the varsity and jayvee teams.

Under the tutelage of Darlynn Oxendine and Randy Oxendine, varsity coach and jayvee coach respectively, the Bluestone volleyball program has moved up to another level. Not only has interest in the sport flourished since the Oxendines took the lead, but also in the number of kids — girls and boys — wanting to learn the sport has surged.

The varsity and jayvee teams both had good seasons last year, but it was the varsity squad that dominated. And with a varsity team that lost only one player to graduation last season, Bluestone’s primary starting lineup remains intact. The Lady Barons finished with a record of 15-4, 12-4 JRD in 2018.

Ashlyn Knott was named JRD 2018 Volleyball Player of the Year and D. Oxendine was selected as JRD 2018 Volleyball Coach of the Year. Emma Newcomb, now a sophomore, was also selected to the JRD first team.

Knott was also named to the All Region 2A first team. Knott’s stats from last season included 368 kills, 61 blocks, 251 digs, 73 aces and 14 assists.

Tori Rowe, Hite Jones, Trista Newcomb, and Annelise Bailey all return to the floor for Bluestone this season. Along with some very talented players moving up from the jayvee team, the varsity girls are on pace to have a dynamic 2019 season.

Last year, after winning a share of the regular season James River District championship, securing the No. 1 seed in Region 2A tournament, and receiving a first-round bye, Bluestone was two matches away from moving on to the VHSL state tournament before losing to Bruton High School.

After the Bruton loss, Coach Oxendine said, “While their season came to an end Saturday, the preparations for 2019 will begin soon with many attending camps and playing travel volleyball. We look forward to their development in the 2019 installment of Lady Baron Volleyball.”

The girls did just that — playing travel volleyball for The Rebels, attending volleyball camp at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and in partnership with the Mecklenburg County YMCA, hosting the county’s first ever “Y” volleyball camp at Bluestone.

Oxendine said it’s all about the work you put in, what you do to share with others, and having fun. She said she was very happy to see all the girls that came out for the team tryouts.

“Very pleased,” Oxendine said. “This shows the love [the] Bluestone area is getting for volleyball. Our girls all give so much heart in all practices. It is very impressive.”

Bluestone will have its first scrimmage of the season on Aug. 22 when they travel to Danville to take on George Washington. Jayvee play begins at 5 p.m., with the varsity scheduled to begin play at 6:30 p.m.

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