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Battlefield Volleyball: Cougars edge Knights in championship
BY KURT NICOLL
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
The Courtland volleyball team waited five years for this to happen, so what was another 2 hours?
The Cougars took Spotsylvania’s best shot time and again, finally prevailing by a 29–27, 17–25, 24–26,
25–21, 15–9 margin over the Knights in the Battlefield District finals Thursday night at King George.
At King George
Courtland 3, Spotsylvania 2
Eastern View 3, Chancellor 1
In 14 seasons of tournament play, Courtland has opposed top-level talent upon occasion, mostly Chancellor, but coach Bob Hott admitted his team was pushed to the limit and would be better for it come regional playoff time starting next week.
The Cougars will be home to host Park View in a Region I first-round game Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Knights travel to New Kent the same evening.
Anna Gallup and Josie Till had three kills apiece as the Cougars starved off elimination with eight straight points to win the fourth game, forcing an 15-point deciding fifth match.
The Cougars proved worthy defenders of the net then, blocking six shots in the deciding game.
“When we were on, we were on and we were amazing,” said the Cougars’ McKay Richardson, who had 33 digs. “Our teamwork was incredible. Like calling out zones for us to hit.
“I think Spotsylvania played awesome,” the junior added. “They’re scrappy and they touch everything.”
“I was really worried in the second and third [games], but once we got that win in the fourth set, I knew my team could pull together,” junior Anna Gallup said. “In the last [game], we had to fight for everything.”
Sparked by the passing of Brianca Rumbaugh (49 assists), Gallup and Till combined for 32 kills.
“I think we did the best that we could with what we had and tried to maintain our composure,” said the Knights’ Callie Stott, who finished with 13 kills and 17 digs. “They killed us with the blocking and they can hit straight down because they can inch off the ground to get 5 feet above the net.”
Also shining for the Knights were Andrea Carroll (33 digs), Katie Graham (15 kills and 19 digs), Caitlin Chmielewski (10 kills, 37 assists and 19 digs) and Courtney Chmielewski (six kills, five digs and six blocks).
“We gave it everything we had,” Knights coach Lou Wondree said. “When we won the second game, I thought we were going to pull it out. We left blood, sweat and tears out on the floor tonight.”
About Tuesday’s match at New Kent, Stott said: “We’ll definitely be ready because we are really mad that we lost. So we are going to take it out on them. So they better be ready.”
EASTERN VIEW 3, CHANCELLOR 1
The Cyclones became a “kill” machine to secure their first-ever regional playoff berth with a 25–22, 19–25, 25–18, 25–17 consolation victory over Chancellor.
Senior Randi Mauck paced Eastern View with 16 kills and was followed by Juliana Schlunz with 12, Brooke Downs with eight and Kate Bridges with five.
“We had solid seniors come on board this year and the girls jelled together. Whatever I threw at them, they did it,” said coach Molly McGrath, whose Cyclones visit Jamestown on Tuesday.
Josie Kritter added a team-high 24 digs, Downs also blocked five shots and Nicole Murphy had a solid all-around game with nine assists and three aces.
For Chancellor, Shea Sullivan had 19 kills, Sydney Jackson added nine kills and Emily Green totaled 12 assists.
Kurt Nicoll: 540/374-5441