Madison volleyball sweeps Clarke to advance to Bull Run title match

Madison County volleyball scored points in bunches after slow starts in the first two sets, cruising to a 3-0 win over visiting Clarke County in the Bull Run District semifinals.


Allie Burbridge led the way with 12 kills and Emily Dodson added seven for the Mountaineers. Emilee Russell registered 30 assists as well.


The Eagles twice pulled even in the early going after runs by Madison, at 3-3 and later 8-8 before the Mountaineers woke up. A pair of kills by Dodson led the way, with most of them coming in a 17-3 spurt that gave Madison a 25-11 win in the first stanza. Madison first went on a 8-1 run, forcing a Clarke timeout, then won four one he next five thereafter to claim full control of the set. The game was a marked improvement over Madison’s home performance against Clarke earlier this year where the Mountaineers needed five games to escape.


“We get in a good rhythm and it helps us out,” Madison coach Carrie Hardy said. “We’ve been working in practice on spot-serving, and in the middle we’ve been working on different options. Once they get going, they’re tough to stop.”


Clarke jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, but Dodson kill kickstarted the Mountaineers again as they quickly pulled even at 6-6. Another spurt, this time five of the next six points, forced another Eagles timeout and gave Madison a lead it wouldn’t relinquish as they raced to a 25-13 win in the second, wrestling command of the match.


Set three featured more of the same–Madison jumped out to a 4-1 lead before the Eagles came back and tied it at 7-7. Behind the serving of senior Lane Fox, the Mountaineers promptly rattled off eight straight points to put the match away, rolling to a 25-10 third-set win.


“Serving is our bread and butter, and Lane is one of our best spot servers,” Hardy said. “She does an incredible job, she’s very smart and she knows where to put it.”


Abi Tanner also contributed seven kills for Madison, while Ava Jenkins added five.


Madison will take on the winner of the Rappahannock-George Mason game in the district final.