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Valley, County advance to volleyball region finals, Stone Bridge falls

Loudoun's remaining volleyball teams went two-for-three in Thursday's region semifinals with Loudoun Valley and Loudoun County each advancing to their respective finals. Meanwhile, Stone Bridge held tough against South County but was overmatched in the end. Here are the results and highlights.

AAA Northwest Region
Loudoun Valley def. Forest Park 25-10, 25-23, 25-18
The Vikings wasted no time erasing the memories of an early season three-set loss to the Bruins, rolling to a first set victory in a mere 12 minutes and never letting up. Senior middle hitter Lindsey Phipps led the way with 12 kills and 5 blocks, Cedar Run district player of the year Morgan Clark added 9 kills and senior setter Nicole Bennett finished with 29 assists and several nifty dump winners as the Vikings advanced to the state tournament once again.

Albemarle def. Osbourn Park 25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 25-18
The Vikings will travel to Charlottesville to face reigning state champions Albemarle, which defeated Osbourn Park in the other semifinal, for Saturday's semifinal. Loudoun Valley (19-5) swept the Patriots in Charlottesville last month and will be looking to avenge last fall's region final defeat.

AAA Northern Region
South County def. Stone Bridge 25-19, 25-10, 23-25, 25-20
The Bulldogs stellar season came to an abrupt end at the hands of the red-hot Stallions. Fresh off a huge quarterfinal win over Chantilly, the Stallions had too much firepower for Stone Bridge with Patriot District player of the year Lindsay Stephens posting 14 kills and junior middle hitter Simone Antwi added 18 of her own, including a spectacular angled winner that landed just two feet away from the net even though she hit the ball from just beside the scorer's table.

The Bulldogs (23-3) survived two and a half matches without all-district junior setter Amanda Miller (broken fibia) but the third was too much to ask. Despite 36 assists from Vanessa Paige and three hitters registering at least 13 kills, Stone Bridge didn't have quite enough firepower to beat out the Stallions. This team brings back the bulk of its record-setting team, so they'll be locked and loaded for a tournament run in 2010.

Langley def. Robinson 26-24, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21
The Stallions will face Liberty District runners-up Langley, which upset top-seeded Robinson behind 26 digs from Elysse Richardson, 26 assists from Nikki Hero and Kathryn Caine's 12 kills. South County edged Langley 3-2 early on this season - a match I saw first hand - and the rematch has all the makings of another great contest.

The region final will be held Saturday at Centreville High School.

For the Bulldogs:
Christine Beckham 14 kills, 10 digs, 3 pts
Lindsay Gill 23 digs, 7 pts
Alex Heyn 5 kills, 5 blocks
Alexis Chism 5 kills, 2 blocks
Ryan Ackermann 13 kills, 5 pts
Amy Christensen 15 digs, 2 blocks
Vanessa Paige 36 assists, 4 blocks, 12 pts, 2 aces

AA Region II
Loudoun County def. Kettle Run 25-16, 25-17, 25-21
Surprise, surprise. The two-time defending state champion Raiders are back in the state tournament for a fourth consecutive year. After sweeping the Cougars at home, they'll travel to Crozet to face Western Albemarle with a chance to win their fourth straight region championship. The Warriors got past Sherando to advance to the final. Loudoun County (21-3) swept Western Albemarle on the road on Oct. 3.

For the Raiders:
Juliane Hanna 11 kills, 8 digs, 6 points
Jenna Strange 10 kills, 7 points, 3 blocks
Molly Balwdin 7 kills, 4 blocks
Emily Vandegrift 6 kills, 3 points, 2 digs
Erin Dancy 3 kills
Rachel Arigo 3 kills, 4 digs, 1 block
Robin Marsala 43 assists, 6 digs, 4 points, 2 kills
Hannah Arnold 13 points, 6 digs, 3 aces, 2 kills
Gabby Serafin 17 digs
Kathleen Horvath 6 digs, 5 points, 3 aces
Sammy Dormio 3 digs

By Matt Brooks  |  November 12, 2009; 10:26 PM ET
Categories:  Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Northern Region , Northwest Region , Region II , Stone Bridge High School , Volleyball  
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