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Virginia Volleyball Preview

Today's volleyball preview gave you a snapshot of the landscape in the entire region. So here's my totally Virginia-centric preview for teams, storylines, players and matchups to watch in what should be a highly competitive 2009 season in the Commonwealth.

Around the Area
Over the last three years, no team in Virginia has been as consistently dominant as Loudoun County. After claiming their second straight Virginia AA title last fall, the Raiders boast an 85-4 mark since 2006. With first-team all-state senior OH Juliane Hanna and senior S Robin Marsala leading the way, there should be no drop-off in their string of success. . . . Chancellor, which fell to the Raiders in the state semifinals, aims for a return trip behind senior OH Seth Sullivan. . . .

Heritage - the source of Loudoun County’s lone 2008 defeat – moved up to the Cedar Run District where they should challenge AAA Northwest Region finalist Loudoun Valley. Nine-time Cardinal District champions Forest Park will also be in the regional mix. . . .

The AAA Concorde District was home to three of the four AAA Northern Region finalists, and the jewel of the group was Chantilly, which claimed district and regional championships before falling to eventual champions Albermarle in the AAA Virginia semifinals. The Chargers return seniors Samantha Reeves (OH) and Allison Williams (MH) and are poised for another run to the state tournament. . . . Westfield and Herndon filled out the trio of Northern Region finalists out of the Concorde and despite the Bulldogs’ youth, both should be factors again. . . .

All four losses for reigning Patriot District champions South County came against Concorde District teams, but with senior OH Lindsay Stephens and 6-1 junior standout recruit Simone Antwi leading a roster, this could be the year the Stallions crack the upper echelon in the Northern Region. Stone Bridge (Liberty) and Yorktown (National) both return key members of district title teams, although the Bulldogs must contend with Langley and newcomer Fairfax. . . .

Flint Hill claimed the program’s first Virginia Independent School League title in 2008 and adds Potomac Falls junior transfer Tori Janowski to a loaded roster that brings back five returning starters including junior OH Marilyn Peizer. The Huskies – who have already split two matches with Chantilly – will vie for a return trip to the City Championship where they fell to Good Counsel in five sets a year ago.

Storylines
Murderer’s Row: Westfield’s non-district schedule is one of the toughest in the area and features Centennial, Deep Run, Flint Hill, Langley, Yorktown and Stone Bridge. Can the Bulldogs survive that stretch, Concorde District play and a young roster to make a return trip to the state playoffs?

District Shuffle: With several teams realigning into new districts for 2009, the effect could be a shakeup in the usual playoff contenders. Hayfield’s move from the AAA Patriot to the AAA National District could bring far better results while Fairfax (AAA Liberty) and W.T. Woodson (AAA Patriot) should contend in their new leagues. Heritage, which made the jump from AA Dulles to AAA Cedar Run, will also factor heavily in their district race.

Northern Region Revamp: In recent years the Concorde District has lorded over the Northern Region, but this season South County, Stone Bridge, Langley, Yorktown and a few others have a legitimate shot to shake things up at the top.

Player to Watch
MH Simone Antwi
South County, Jr.

Antwi flew under the radar early on last season, but at 6-1 and with the ability to touch 10-3, she did not go unnoticed for long. With serious interest from Stanford, Florida, Penn State and others, Stallions coach Dave Prahl expects big things from his middle hitter.

“Last year, no one knew about her, and she just appeared on the radar and instantly gained the attention of the region coaches,” Prahl said.

She may not take anyone by surprise this fall, but with her dominant play and leaping ability fortifying the middle of South County’s attack, the Stallions could have their best season yet.

Key Dates
Sept. 10: South County at Chantilly – 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 12: Loudoun County Tournament (Flint Hill, James Wood, Robinson, Loudoun County) – 3 p.m.
Nov. 2-5: AAA Concorde District Tournament

By Matt Brooks  |  September 8, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  AAA Concorde District , AAA Liberty District , AAA National District , AAA Patriot District , Cedar Run District , Chantilly High School , Fairfax High School , Flint Hill School , Forest Park High School , Heritage High School , Herndon High School , Langley High School , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Northern Region , Northwest Region , Patriot District , South County , Stone Bridge High School , Volleyball , W.T. Woodson High School , Westfield High School , Yorktown High School  | Tags: Chantilly High School, Flint Hill School, Loudoun County High School, South County High School, Volleyball  
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Next: Virginia Field Hockey Preview

Comments

So I believe Heritage has already beaten Chantilly and Herndon, but they dont rate a ranking?? Hmm.

Posted by: csh1 | September 10, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

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