Leesburg, VA (September 20, 2016) – Established as a "gold out" by the Loudoun County High School student body in honor of victims of and those suffering from childhood cancers, this match was also a showdown of top teams in Conference 21B. Entering the match, the perennial champion Raiders (6-1) were looking at a tough test from the Rock Ridge Phoenix (5-1), sporting their first senior class.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted this gallery from the match.
Loudoun County is seemingly always at the top of the standings, but a high ranking and high expectations were firsts for the visitors. You could say that the Raiders got off to a slow start, but it might be more accurate to say that the Phoenix got off to a fast one. The girls in gray were hot and posted a dominating performance in the first set taking the surprised Loudoun County team 25-17 in the first set.
The question was, could Rock Ridge sustain the momentum?
Volleyball is a sport of streaks, and wisely used breaks can completely change the flow of a match. Loudoun County's head coach Sherrilyn Hanna surely knew that as she gathered her team together before the second set began. Whatever she said, well, it worked.
A quick three-point run to open the second set was the first indication that the Raiders had their mojo back, and they proceeded to win that one easily, 25-9.
In quick succession, the third and fourth sets pretty much followed the same pattern. Rock Ridge gave a valiant effort, but never truly threatened again. Loudoun County simultaneously won the final two sets (25-13 and 25-15) and the match (3-1), demonstrated their well-earned position, and reinforced their ongoing legacy as the team to beat.