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Prep Volleyball: Wolverines stun Black–Hawks
BEHIND BARRETT, ROSA,
NORTH STAFFORD ADVANCES IN TOURNEY
NORTH STAFFORD ADVANCES IN TOURNEY
BY NATHAN WARTERS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The North Stafford volleyball team isn’t ready to surrender its Commonwealth District tournament crown just yet.
The reigning champion Wolverines are young, but they believe they’re talented enough to make a postseason run. They got the ball rolling Thursday night by upsetting third-seeded Brooke Point 25–19, 16–25, 27–25, 13–25, 15–9 in the district tournament quarterfinals.
North Stafford (13–8), seeded sixth, advances to play at Colonial Forge in the semifinals on Tuesday.
“We won the district title last year, and we want to keep that going,” said Wolverines senior Tiffany Barrett, who had nine kills. “At the beginning of the season, we didn’t think it was going to happen, but our team is built well, we all get along and we play as a team.”
North Stafford and Brooke Point traded wins before the Wolverines scored a decisive victory in the fifth game.
Thanks to Barrett’s serving, Abby Rosa’s blocking and some big plays by Alexandra Sosik down the stretch, the Wolverines were able to storm out to a 12–6 lead and hold on for the upset victory.
“It’s hard for them to get momentum when you’re shutting people down, when they can’t get it passed to run their offense, and when they were running their offense we shut them down at the net,” North Stafford coach Emily Dudenhefer said.
North Stafford’s confidence swelled with a win in the opening game, confirming their belief they could duplicate what they did to beat Brooke Point on its home court during the regular season.
“We have a great team with all-around talent—back row, front row, serving, blocking—so when we have all of our cogs working together, we’re pretty hard to beat,” Dudenhefer said.
But the Black–Hawks stormed back with a one-sided victory in the second game and then went ahead 20–14 in game three before the Wolverines forged a furious comeback to tie it up 24–24. A spike by Cori Jacobsen put the Black–Hawks up 25–24, but Rosa answered with another game-tying point.
North Stafford took its first lead in game three when a Brooke Point return went out of bounds, and the Wolverines clinched the comeback victory on a service ace by Sosik.
The Black–Hawks knotted the match up again with a decisive win in the fourth game, but their momentum was short-lived.
North Stafford took early control in the fifth game and didn’t look back.
“I think we really worked as a team and communicated effectively with each other. I think we really wanted it overall,” said Rosa, who had eight kills and three blocks.
Sosik finished with 12 kills for the Wolverines. Christine Jackson had 10 kills. Cheyenne Colley had 12 digs, and Ebonie Hicks had 21 assists.
Jasmine Jones led the way for the Black–Hawks with eight kills, five blocks and six service aces. Desiree Claxton had 16 kills and nine digs. Jacobsen had seven kills and six service aces, and Lindsay Harrison had nine digs.
Brooke Point first-year coach Terri Starliper said her team exceeded expectations this season. The Black–Hawks improved four places in the district standings from last season and have a lot of hope for the future.
“It’s really been about re-programming them,” Starliper said. “Losing is contagious, and it takes a lot to get them to believe in themselves to get that mental focus to win.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442