SALEM, Va. – It proved to be a clean sweep on the volleyball court for our local teams in the VHSL State Finals.
In the Class 1 ranks, Auburn battled against Riverheads. The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage. But the Gladiators fought back and forced a fourth set. Auburn rose to the occasion and soared to win its first state title since 2014.
“We made some defensive adjustments because they were hurting our lines and we said ‘This is it.’ We didn’t want to go into a 5th set,” said Auburn head coach Sherry Millirons.
“It feels great. Everything we worked for thus far has finally paid off,” said senior Tori Boyd.
In Class 2, the Radford Bobcats were in the state final for the third consecutive season, hoping to win its second in a row. It looked rather bleak at the start. Poquoson jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after winning two tightly contested sets. But the Bobcats never hit the panic button. They roared back to win three consecutive sets to claim the match, 3-2. The teams said this was there first time winning a match that went to five sets this season.
“We knew that we had to change our passing and that’s how we get our offense going and our passing has really been a struggle this season. And they really stepped up in serve and receive,” said Radford head coach Karen Adams.
“I know we were getting really down early in the season when we lost a few games and we just put pedal to the metal and really turned it up in postseason,” said senior Charli Dietz.
In Class 3, Lord Botetourt wins championship gold for the third consecutive year after defeating Tabb. Senior Miette Veldman led the team with 19 kills and Jordyn Kepler led the Cavaliers with 41 assists. Lord Botetourt completes the season with a record of 31-0, with each win coming via straight sets.
“It’s something that they’ve worked really hard for and have stayed focused. So that’s been really cool to see them grow and mature into great people and great volleyball players over the years,” said Lord Botetourt head coach Julie Conner.
“It’s really bittersweet to end it with these people but I’m glad we ended it the way we did and that we finished the 3rd set the way we did,” said senior Miette Veldman.