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Memorable season for Trailblazers volleyball | USA Today High School Sports

The Asheville Trailblazers volleyball team.

The Asheville Trailblazers volleyball team.

ASHEVILLE – Next week’s North Carolinians for Home Education state volleyball tournament will be held in the Asheville Trailablazers’ home gym.

Their advantages do not begin or end there.

The Trailblazers are 26-1 overall and 18-0 outside of tournament play after Monday’s 3-0 sweep of homestanding Kachea (Tenn.).

Bekah Downer dished out 28 assists to go along with 15 kills and a dig. Katie Kania made 12 kills, seven digs, two blocks and an ace. Catherine Clark contributed 13 digs and three aces, while Becca Camacho netted 10 kills, three, digs two assists and a block.

“I love this team,” Kania said.

“Everyone is super-positive and we all get along well. Everyone contributes a ton and it makes the team better.”

First-year coach Beth Schaible works on a day-by-day basis with a near-equal equal mix of newcomers (five) and veterans (four).

The Trailblazers play their home matches at the Xcel Sportsplex in Henderson County.

Kania, Downer and Anna Hutchinson are the only three seniors on the team’s roster. Downer and Kania are captains.

“This is one of the best years we’ve ever had, and getting to do it as a senior makes it even better,” said Downer, who is a setter.

“We’ve had a lot of great moments, on and off the court.”

Kania amassed a team-high 319 kills. Camacho (170) and Johanna Goodrich (134) are other main attackers. Downer has dished out 675 of the team’s 717 assists. Downer (353), Kania (348), Clark (250), Anna Hutchinson (120) and Bayli Bayne (119) are digs leaders.

Beth Schaible is a first-year coach who oversaw the Trailblazers’ JV team last season.

“This is definitely the best team I’ve ever coached. There are not weak spots,” Schaible said.

“They are solid as players and teammates.”

The NCHEAC volleyball tournament is Oct. 22-25 and will coincide with the state association’s soccer tourrnament, also in the Asheville area.

“Normally we have to drive three to four hours for a state tournament,” Kania said.

“This is going to be great. (Xcel) is where we have our home matches and hopefully there will be a lot of fans don’t usually get at state tournaments.”

More on this story to come…

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