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Bluestone volleyball finish season 18-0

South Boston News
Brooke Conwell and Skyla Newcomb work to get the block against Nottoway. (Mike Moseley photo) / November 03, 2021

The Bluestone High School varsity volleyball team had reason to celebrate last week as they finished regular season play with a perfect 18-0 record. At the same time, the Baron girls claimed the James River District regular season championship and earned the no. 1 seed in Region 2A.

Bluestone begins region tourney competition today in Skipwith versus the no. 8 seed Greensville County Eagles. The girls only need to win two matches to advance to the VHSL Class 2 volleyball championships. Greensville advanced in the region playoffs by defeating no. 9 seed John Marshall on Monday.

If the Barons defeat Greensville they will play the winner of the other quarterfinal game — where no. 4 seed King William County will take on the winner of the no. 2 seed Bruton/no.5 seed Thomas Jefferson matchup from Monday.

Though the Lady Barons appear to be the favorite to advance, if prior seasons are any indication this may not be as easy as it appears. It was in 2019 — Bluestone’s last season of competition before COVID-19 — when the no. 9 seed Bruton High School came to Skipwith and bested top-seeded Bluestone 3-2 to end their state title hopes.

Bluestone finished the 2019 season at 16-4 and never lost a home game that year. If Bluestone had won the Bruton match they would have advanced to state competition.

Seniors Emma Newcomb and Trista Newcomb are the only players left from that squad. T. Newcomb is currently on the team’s injured list and will not be available for postseason play.

Still, the Baron girls have shown some real resilience this year. In addition to being undefeated they never lost a set the entire season.

Bluestone athletics director Justin Kirkland said he couldn’t be prouder of the girls and all the have accomplished.

“What this team, these girls, did was nothing short of amazing, and deserves recognition of the highest regard,” Kirkland said. “Bluestone volleyball has a long reputation of success and excellence and they surpassed even that.

“Coach Oxendine and her girls did something that, to my knowledge, has never been done at Bluestone — go an entire season without losing a set. I’d wager to say you’d be hard pressed to find more than a handful of teams in Virginia who’ve ever done that.

“Now, with that being said, records are great, but championships are greater. I know both coaches would agree with me when I say our ultimate goal is a state championship, something else that hasn’t been done in Bluestone history, in terms of team sports.

“Regional play has been our kryptonite in the past, and we will look to clear that hurdle first.

“I can’t think of a better way to close out Bluestone, though, than with this team playing the way they have been. Bluestone and this community in general are so proud of these girls and will continue to root them on.”

Bluestone seniors recognized

On Tuesday night, Oct. 26, the Lady Barons celebrated Senior Night with a sweep of Nottoway, 25-5, 25-14 and 25-17.

Seniors recognized during the ceremony were Emma Newcomb and Trista Newcomb. The two have been friends since childhood and play multiple sports together including BHS varsity softball where each are standout players.

“It was great to see Trista Newcomb come out,” Barons coach Darlynn Oxendine said. “What can we say about Emma Newcomb that has not been said?

“They are two friends that go way back. Bluestone High School will miss these two players.”

E. Newcomb and younger sibling Grace Newcomb recorded a triple-double and a double-double, respectively. E. Newcomb paced her squad with 11 digs and 18 assists, while G. Newcomb posted 13 digs and 14 kills.

Cassidy Newcomb and Skyla King combined for 21 digs. King added two blocks.

Stats vs. Nottoway: Emma Newcomb 5SA, 11D, 18AS, 9K; Grace Newcomb 9SA, 13D, 2AS, 14K; Lillie Puryear 5SA, 4D; Cassidy Newcomb 4SA, 11D, 6K; Brooke Conwell 1SA, 4D, 2AS; Daniya White 1D; Skyla King 10D, 1AS, 2K, 2B; Deonna Glass 1AS.

Perfect season

On Wednesday night the girls needed only to win their match against Buckingham to accomplish what no other varsity volleyball team in the history of the BHS program had done — an undefeated season record.

Scores in the victory were 25-23, 25-17 and 25-14.

Emma Newcomb cementing her mark on BHS volleyball by posting her first quadruple-double of the season. She logged 10 serve aces, 15 digs, 14 assists, and 15 kills.

Skyla King and Brooke Conwell had 16 and 12 digs. Grace Newcomb had 10 kills, nine assists and eight digs.

Stats vs. Buckingham: Emma Newcomb 10SA, 15D, 14AS, 15K; Cassidy Newcomb 2D, 6K; Lillie Puryear 2SA, 9D, 2AS; Skyla King 16D, 1K; Brooke Conwell 1SA, 12D; Elena Bailey 1AS; Grace Newcomb 8D, 9AS, 10K.

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