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Volleyball Roundup

Cedar Run Field is Set

With Loudoun Valley's sweep of Heritage last week, the Vikings wrapped up the Cedar Run regular season title. In years past, that meant little as the league only crowned the winner of the district tournament as its champion. With the district trimmed to five teams in 2009, they changed the rules, meaning the Vikings (15-4) have automatically qualified for the Northwest Region tournament regardless of how they finish in next week's tournament.

With one game left on the schedule, the field is already set for the district tournament, which begins Tuesday and features only a semifinal round and the final. The Vikings host fourth-seeded Osbourn while Heritage and Battlefield face off in the other semifinal. The winners will meet in Thursday's final.

The Vikings enter as the favorites, having won 11 consecutive matches following a 3-4 start to the season. The key to the turnaround may have been coach Laird Johnson's switch from a 6-2 to a 5-1 offense, which coincided with the return of starting setter Nicole Bennett from injury. Since making the switch, Valley is unbeaten.

"You lose the big right side blocker when you go to a 5-1," Johnson said. "But we've gained a lot of consistency in timeing and sets. It took the girls a little while to get adjusted to it, but they've really played well."

Juliane Hanna and Loudoun County need to beat Broad Run to force a playoff for the Dulles District regular season title. (John McDonnell, TWP)

Dulles District Title Goes on the Line Thursday

Loudoun County has been itching to get back on the court since a stunning five-set loss to Broad Run on Oct. 6. Since that loss, the No. 4 Raiders (17-2) have trampled their Dulles District opposition, keeping pace with the Spartans, who have done the same to remain unbeaten atop the league.

Thursday night, the Raiders get their rematch in Ashburn where they'll try to force a playoff for the district title. Meanwhile, the Spartans will be looking to win it outright and end Loudoun County's stretch of dominance over the league.

The key for Broad Run in the first meeting was starting strong - which they were able to do in winning the first and third games. The Spartans (13-4) also served exceptionally well, especially in the decisive fifth game when they rallied from a 12-7 deficit to win the match.

The Raiders, meanwhile, were sloppy at times and didn't get the typical star-caliber effort they're used to seeing from senior outside hitter Juliane Hanna. There will no doubt be plenty of energy and intensity in the gym on Thursday night, in what should be a preview of the district, and perhaps the Region II, tournament finals.

Now some scores and highlights from matches earlier this week...

Loudoun County def. 25-16, 25-8, 25-14
The No. 4 Raiders honored a senior class that over the last four years has accomplished three Dulles District regular season championships, three Dulles District tournament championships, three Region II championships, two AA state championships, and an overall record of 100-6. The Raiders improved to 17-2 (10-1) on the season, and the JV (16-2) and Freshmen (15-0) teams also swept their victories 2-0. Next up for County is tonight's titanic matchup at Broad Run.

Leading the Raiders:
Emily Vandegrift - 7 kills, 4 digs
Juliane Hanna - 6 kills, 11 digs, 4 aces, 4 points
Robin Marsala - 18 assists, 6 digs, 4 kills, 3 points
Molly Baldwin - 6 kills, 4 blocks, 4 digs, 4 points
Hannah Arnold - 17 points, 9 digs, 3 aces
Jenna Strange - 5 kills, 3 digs
Kathleen Horvath - 2 kills, 2 digs
Gabby Serafin - 3 digs
Erin Dancy - 2 kills, 1 block
Colleen Bowlds - 10 assists, 4 points, 3 digs, 2 points
Sammy Dormio - 10 points, 4 aces
Rachel Arigo 1 kill, 1 block
Allie Cain - 1 kill, 1 dig

Stone Bridge def. Thomas Jefferson 25-10, 25-16, 25-15
The No. 5 Bulldogs extended their winning streak to 11 and clinched a second straight Liberty District title. They haven't dropped a game since Sep. 23 and close out the regular season against Fairfax on senior night tonight in Ashburn.

Leading the Bulldogs:
Christine Beckham - 9 kills, 9 pts, 4 aces
Amanda Miller - 32 assists, 13 pts, 2 aces, 6 digs
Lindsay Gill - 10 digs
Alex Heyn - 2 kills, 2 blocks
Alexis Chism - 6 kills, 2 blocks, 17 pts, 3 aces
Ryan Ackermann - 12 kills, 7 pts, 2 aces
Amy Christensen - 4 kills

Heritage def. Stonewall Jackson 25-17, 25-12, 25-10
The Pride wrapped up the regular season, finishing second in their Cedar Run debut. They'll host Battlefield - a team they beat 3-1 on Oct. 13 - in Tuesday's semifinals.

Leading the Pride:
Bernett - 13 kills, 18 digs,9 points, 5 aces
Beckwith - 12 digs
Montanez - 12 kills
Thompson - 4 kills, 1 block
Yokoyama - 34 assists
Young - 5 kills,1 block

Broad Run def. Briar Woods 25-20, 25-15, 25-19
The Spartans (13-4) got back on track in their final match before Thursday's showdown with Loudoun County that could decide the district title.

Stone Bridge def. Broad Run 25-19, 25-20, 25-17
The Bulldogs snapped Broad Run's 10-match winning streak in dominating fashion.

Leading the Bulldogs:
Christine Beckham - 16 kills, 4 pts, 2 aces
Amanda Miller - 29 assists, 2 blocks
Lindsay Gill - 7 digs, 5 pts, 2 aces
Alex Heyn - 4 kills, 3 blocks
Alexis Chism - 5 kills, 3 blocks, 6 pts, 2 aces
Ryan Ackermann - 5 kills, 5 pts
Amy Christensen - 14 digs, 5 pts
Vanessa Paige - 13 pts, 4 aces

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By Matt Brooks  |  October 29, 2009; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  Broad Run High School , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Stone Bridge High School , Volleyball  
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