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Prep Volleyball: Eagles steady themselves, pick up a district victory
BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH
Colonial Forge dropped the first four points in the first game of its match against Riverbend on Wednesday night.
It was the first sign that the evening could be a struggle for the inexperienced and sometimes inconsistent Eagles so Keith Mesa called an early timeout.
“Every team gets up to play us,” Mesa said. “And this team is still learning how to handle that.”
But in this match, the Eagles handled it quite well. They stormed back and won that game, as well as the two that followed, taking a 25–20, 28–26, 25–15 Commonwealth District victory.
With the win, Colonial Forge improved to 9–1 in the district and remained in the hunt for the regular-season title.
“Normally we’re really inconsistent,” Eagles junior Hope Kelley said. “But tonight we showed up and proved ourselves on the court. We relaxed and got it together.”
Leandra Tranquill led Colonial Forge with 11 kills and six blocks. Brooke Sanders tallied 18 assists and Jenna Ulizio added 18 digs.
For Riverbend, Miranda Mitchell had six kills and 16 digs and Danielle Deiters had 15 assists.
Riverbend held an 11–7 lead in the opening game before Colonial Forge—sparked by the serving of Sanders—rolled off six consecutive points.
The Bears regained the lead, 19–17, but Colonial Forge surged back with yet another six-point rally.
On game point, Sanders’ serve was not returned, and the Eagles took a 25–20 win.
“We really worked together as a team,” Kelley said. “We knew tonight was a pretty big deal.”
In the second game, a kill by Tranquill gave Colonial Forge three game-points at 24–21.
This time, Riverbend bounced back. An ace by Brett Pettus tied the score at 24.
Colonial Forge then fought off one game point, and with the score tied at 25, Maddie Scovell ended a lengthy and stressful point with a powerful kill.
The teams traded big shots in big moments before Colonial Forge finally escaped with a 28–26 win.
“Like Riverbend does, they keep balls alive and keep playing defense, and they snuck back in,” Mesa said. “If the second game had gone the other way, it becomes a completely different match.”
By the third game, Riverbend appeared deflated. With the score tied at 10, Colonial Forge unleashed an 8–1 run before taking the 25–15 victory.
“When we start missing our serves is when we start losing confidence in ourselves,” Riverbend coach Brianne Slattery said. “And Forge has such a quick offense that we had a hard time competing with it.”
Riverbend faces Osbourn Park on Monday, and Colonial Forge plays host to Stafford on Tuesday.
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442