Auburn, Rustburg capture state volleyball titles

The Eagles wins 2nd straight, Red Devils capture first title since 1992

RINER, Va. – Auburn beat Riverheads in three matches (25-15, 25-8, 27-25) on Friday to claim their second straight Class 1 volleyball state championship.

The first match started out competitive, with Riverheads tying up the game multiple times, but midway through, the Eagles pulled away.

In the second match, Auburn opened up on 10-0 run and used the momentum to win handily, 25-8.

The third match was the most competitive of them all, with Riverheads in the lead for most of the game. Multiple aces in a row helped Auburn tie it up, and won 27-25.

“It was definitely a struggle getting onto the court with COVID-19, but once we got on it we hit it hard and practiced every day, and it just feels great to come out on top,” outside hitter Allyson Martin said.

“I didn’t think we’d have a season at that point because we were hitting on these marks right on the wall every single day,” libero Sara Nichols said. “But everyone kept coming, even though it was the most boring thing to go through, but it really shows how hard we worked throughout the summer and the winter.”

“I am extremely proud of this group,” head coach Sherry Millirons said. “I had three sophomores on that court, we are extremely young, and we have gotten so much better in the last three weeks since tournament time came.”

Rustburg was seeking their first state volleyball title since 1992, when coach Kristen Hardie was a player. Now with her daughter as a junior outside hitter, the Red Devils squared off against New Kent for the title.

The match was never in doubt. Rustburg won in straight sets, 25-12, 25-14 and 25-13 to claim the title.

“It’s awesome I’m so happy for the girls that they get to experience this what a great it was awesome to have it at home to be able to host it,” Red Devils coach Kristen Hardie said.

”I was just like --wow we finally did it! We’ve been dreaming about this moment well, I have since forever, and we’ve all came to this point that we knew we could win the title this year and we pursued it,” outside hitter Kate Hardie said.

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Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.