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Region I Vollyeball: Cougars deliver, if not dominate
COURTLAND OUSTS PARK VIEW IN REGION I QUARTERS, BUT COACH BELIEVES HIS TEAM CAN PLAY BETTER
BY JIM SWING
Instead of standing around slapping hands and celebrating, Courtland’s volleyball team was seated silently in a circle under the baseline.
An unsatisfied Bob Hott sat as well, giving his team a lecture.
Jamestown 3, Eastern View 0
Grafton 3, Southampton 0
Courtland 3, Park View–South Hill, 0
New Kent 3, Spotsylvania 0
Grafton at Jamestown
New Kent at Courtland
For the Cougars, a 3–0 (25–20, 25–9, 25–19) win over Park View in the Region I quarterfinals Tuesday was bittersweet.
They’d won, but not performed in the fashion they had hoped to.
“It’s nice to advance,” said Hott, who earned his 250th career victory. “I don’t think tonight was the performance I would have liked to have seen going into the next round.”
Courtland’s goal was to keep the visiting Green Dragons—who were undersized and overmatched—under double digits in each set.
Instead, it would get a match that came down to the wire on two out of the three games.
The Cougars raced out to a 10–3 lead in the first game, led by Josie Till, who had four kills in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Park View narrowed the gap to 20–18 before Courtland middle blocker Anna Gallup connected for two kills in the final three points to take the first game.
Then the Cougars started to roll—at least for a moment—quickly taking a 25–9 victory in the second game to go up 2–0.
The momentum carried over into the third game, when Courtland took a 12–5 lead with help from three straight serves by Gallup that the Green Dragons couldn’t manage to return.
But in the up-and-down match that it was, Park View chipped away at the lead.
The Green Dragons reeled off a 9–0 run to take a one-point lead midway through the third game.
But powerful kills by Till and Emily Jordan combined with two straight unreturned serves by Bianca Rumbaugh gave the Cougars a three-point lead.
Then Gallup, who was dominating nearly the entire night, recorded a kill and an ace back-to-back to all but seal the match.
Gallup finished with 10 kills, five aces, six digs and two blocks.
At one point, Gallup even sent a blast off of a Park View player that ricocheted high into the air and five rows into the bleachers.
“She just does so much for us,” Hott said. “She’s able to take over matches.”
Till and Jordan combined for 19 kills and Rumbaugh added 34 assists and four aces.
Amanda DePalma had three kills and four digs and McKay Richardson posted eight digs.
“It feels like a dream,” Jordan said. “I’ve been waiting my whole high school career for this.”
The Cougars (21–5) host a balanced New Kent team Thursday night in the Region I semifinals.
The Trojans defeated Spotsylvania in three sets Tuesday.
“We talked about going to regionals and playing our hearts out,” Gallup said. “But now that we’re still going on we’re talking about states and we’re hoping to get there.”
Jim Swing: 540/374-5440