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Battlefield Volleyball: Knights wear down Chargers, in final

COURTLAND REMAINS UNBEATEN AGAINST DISTRICT OPPONENTS

BY KURT NICOLL

FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR

The slogan “live to fight another day” never crossed the minds of the Spotsylvania volleyball team last night.

The Knights overcame considerable odds to reach today’s Battlefield District championship match at King George with a 25–19, 19–25, 25–15, 25–20 victory over Chancellor.

Calli Stott and Katie Graham paced the winners with 10 kills apiece and combined for 27 digs. Caitlin Chmielewski also had a stellar game with 22 assists to go with eight kills, five digs and three aces, while teammate Courtney Chmielewski added five kills and a pair of blocked shots.

Freshman Taylor Sale made her presence felt with 10 service points and three blocked shots.

“It was important that we went to four [games] and not to five,” said Stott, a senior outside hitter. “We’re definitely a defensive team because we’re not the tallest team out there.”

While Spotsylvania was qualifying for the district finals—possible for the first time ever, according to Knights coach Lou Wondree—top seed and host Courtland qualified for the final for the 14th year in a row with a relatively easy 25–7, 25–8, 25–20 victory over Eastern View.

Chancellor had strong efforts by Shea Sullivan and Sydney Jackson, but eventually wore down as the match progressed.

About the pivotal third game, Stott said: “We knew it was so close that the faster we did it, the faster we would be out of here celebrating.”

“Our passing was really on tonight,” Wondree said. “The players on the team have been playing for me their whole career. So this is like our year.”

The door to the regionals is still open for Chancellor should it get past Eastern View tonight.

“The first 12 points of the first game were on unforced errors,” Chargers coach Bob Welsh said. “Spotsylvania outplayed us.”

Sullivan led Chancellor with 22 kills, 16 digs and two aces. Jackson, a sophomore middle blocker, had one of her best performances of the season, with seven kills and seven blocks.

Emily Ginn contributed a team-high 14 assists.

COURTLAND 3, EASTERN VIEW 0

Junior McKay Richardson set a single-season team record for digs with 13, Anna Gallup had a team-high 11 kills, Emily Jordan added seven kills for the Cougars (19–5) and Bianca Richardson contributed 31 assists.

“All in all, I was pretty happy with the way we played considering we hadn’t done anything since Friday,” Courtland coach Bob Hott said. “Tomorrow’s match is important to us.”

The Cougars have won the tournament title four times, the last time in 2007.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome against Spotsylvania, Courtland will be the district’s top seed and host a first-round regional playoff game next Tuesday, in all likelihood being paired with Park View–South Hill.

Randi Mauck led the Cyclones with 10 kills, while teammate Josie Kritter had 14 digs.

Courtland made it a clean sweep by winning the junior varsity championship with a 25–19, 25–113 victory over Spotsylvania.

Kurt Nicoll: 540/374-5441

knicoll@freelancestar.com

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