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CONFERENCE 4 VOLLEYBALL: Eagles fall to Bruins in rematch

The Conference 4 championship volleyball match between Colonial Forge and Forest Park had all the elements of the teams’ epic regular-season showdown last week—drama, great play, a fight to the finish.

The result, however, was different.

The Bruins, who lost at home in five games last week, won 25–17, 25–21, 23–25, 22–25, 16–14 on the Eagles’ court Thursday night.

“It was a mirror image of what happened at their place, just the opposite outcome,” Colonial Forge coach Keith Mesa said.

Unlike the first meeting, the Eagles (23–5) struggled out of the gate in the rematch and fell behind 2–0 before clawing their way back. Forge won a couple of nail-biters in the third and fourth games before giving away a late lead in the finale.

“When we were playing at Forest Park [last Thursday] we were up [2–0] and we kind of laid back. We kind of did our own thing, and we had more fun with it. This game was more stressful because we didn’t really have a lead at any point,” said Colonial Forge senior setter Brooke Sanders, who finished with 50 assists.

Forest Park held a 15–14 lead in the last game when Colonial Forge’s Madi Porter tried to slam a ball past the Bruins’ front line, but Forest Park senior Jasmine Turk blocked the shot for the decisive point.

Turk and her teammates erupted in celebration while the Eagles players watched in stunned disbelief.

“We left everything on that floor,” Turk said. “I gave it everything I had. Every ounce of energy I had, I gave it to that block.”

The Bruins will host a 6A–South region playoff game Tuesday while Colonial Forge will play on the road that day against the winner of the Conference 3 final between Cosby and James River.

“This gives us motivation. We’re just not happy about having to go on the road,” Sanders said. “We’re definitely ready to go further and see how far we can go.”

In what has been a trend this season, the Eagles got off to a slow start and had to fight back from an early deficit. They were up to the challenge, however, and had a chance to win in the end.

“This shows that we fight back. We don’t give up, but we can still improve,” Porter said.

Porter finished with 17 kills and 11 digs. Isis Garcia had 24 digs and Hope Kelley added 16 kills.

Emma McLaughlin led the way for Forest Park with 13 kills, and Angela Tender had 12 kills and 16 assists.

“The bottom line is we didn’t roll over,” Mesa said. “Our kids went after it. We didn’t play our best match tonight, and I think our kids know we didn’t, and I think they’re upset about that.”

 

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442

nwarters@freelancestar.com

 

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