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Prep Volleyball: Cougars top Chargers
‘DREAM’ ON SCHEDULE
BY JIM SWING
Before each match, up to this point, Courtland players have exchanged a set of looks.
“We’d look at each other and go, ‘Here’s another one, here’s keeping the dream alive,’” Cougars middle blocker Anna Gallup said.
Courtland’s dream is to stay undefeated in the Battlefield District—a dream that remains alive after a 3–0 (25–16, 25–14, 25–18) win over second-place Chancellor on Tuesday night.
It was the Cougars’ second win in as many days, after having blanked Eastern View the night before. They’ve now won each of their last six games.
In its latest victory, Courtland took the opening set with ease.
Down 10–4, Chancellor coach Bob Walsh called a timeout to gather his team—and their thoughts.
The Cougars came out of the timeout even stronger, grabbing seven of the next eight points. Emily Jordan and Josie Till, who each recorded six kills on the night, combined for the game-winning block.
A game later, the Chargers showed some resilience, gaining an 11–9 lead.
Courtland followed with an 8–2 run to steal a four-point lead and force another Chancellor timeout. The Cougars scored the next four points, including a perfectly placed ball by Gallup that no one could touch on what seemed to be a broken-down play.
It was the kind of night where nothing could go wrong for Courtland.
“We went out strong and we stayed strong,” Gallup said.
It was also a night where two of the Battlefield District’s top hitters would face off against each other.
Gallup and Chancellor junior Shea Sullivan battled back and forth, Sullivan with a cannon for an arm and Gallup with the ability to come up with a couple of huge blocks.
Gallup finished with seven kills, 13 digs and three blocks, and made a point-scoring block on a blast from Sullivan that all but sealed the second-game victory.
“They’re probably the two big hitters in the district, so they were exchanging shots,” Courtland coach Bob Hott said. “[Gallup] stepped up to the plate.”
Senior Jenna Hendley closed out the second game with a serve Chancellor couldn’t manage to return.
In between the second and third games, Courtland players rallied around each other chanting, “I believe that we will win.”
On the opposing sideline, the Chargers looked fatigued and downright beaten.
The Cougars soared to a 25–18 win in the third and final set, notching their 11th straight win in the district.
In the past week, Courtland has run through the top of the Battlefield District standings. Since Thursday, the Cougars have taken out Spotsylvania, Eastern View and now Chancellor.
“We’re going through these teams,” said junior outside hitter Amanda DePalma, who posted eight kills and six digs. “It’s a challenge to us but we’re still beating them really good.”
Courtland now holds a solid two-game lead on the second-place Knights—who also won Tuesday—and a three-game lead on Chancellor.
“We wanted to make sure that Spotsy win was a good win, and this kind of solidified it,” Hott said. “So now those two teams can go at it and it doesn’t affect us.”
Bianca Rumbaugh finished with 23 assists, two aces and three digs for the Cougars. McKay Richardson added seven digs.
The Chargers (9–11, 8–3) visit Eastern View Thursday, while Courtland (15–5, 11–0) hosts James Monroe, looking to remain unbeaten in the district.
“Going through both second-place teams and still staying undefeated,” Gallup said, “it’s a great feeling for all of us.”
Jim Swing: 540/374-5440