Volleyball: More Top Teams Tumble
Only two days after Broad Run took out then-No. 5 Loudoun County, two more ranked teams were tripped up by familiar foes on drama-filled Thursday night in the Northern Region.
No. 2 Chantilly went into its Concorde District matchup with Westfield as the heavy favorites, sporting an eight match winning streak during which they had lost just one game. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, entered with a 4-9 mark, having lost four straight. Throw in the fact that the Chargers (13-2) swept their hosts in four matches last season, and the Bulldogs lost nine players to graduation and things looked bleak for Westfield. But records rarely decide the outcomes of rivalries, and Thursday night was no exception.
With junior outside hitter Emily Kohler (14 kills), senior middle blocker Emma Stewart (10 kills, 8 blocks) and senior setter Gabie DeVincenzo (18 assists) leading the way, the Bulldogs downed the Chargers in four, 25-23, 25-22, 11-25, 25-16. Chantilly had not lost since a five-game defeat at the hands of No. 3 Flint Hill in the final of the Virginia Volleyball Showcase on the first weekend in September.
"A rivalry like that with all the history and full stands, it just brings out great high school volleyball," Westfield Coach Jim Bour said. "Chantilly beat the crap out of us four times last year, and they embarrassed during the regionals. It was just a team effort with everybody stepping up, from the people on the bench to all 16 players. They were unselfish and just had an incredibly high energy level."
Despite their high turnover from last season, the Bulldogs have lined up against the top teams in the area all season, making their less than stellar record a bit deceiving. With losses to No. 1 Centennial, fifth-ranked South County, No. 8 Stone Bridge and Northwest Region power Chancellor among others, Bour's team is battle-tested heading into the team's final five contests and the postseason.
"When you look at the people we've played, we know we're going to have some rough times," Bour said. "We're going to have to develop. That type of schedule is going to help us peak at the right time, and our hopes are to put ourselves in the best situation for the Concorde District tournament - which is totally loaded."
Next up for the Bulldogs is a visit to Flint Hill (19-2) on Tuesday, while the Chargers look to rebound at home against Centreville.
"We're exposing our players to the top level of competition," Bour said. "We're battling and playing as hard as we can, always trying to win a match. That what we're looking for - to know that we've battled the best in the whole metro area."
Elsewhere in the Northern Region, Robinson bounced back from the program's first-ever loss to Battlefield on Monday night by taking out No. 5 South County in a five-game thriller, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12.
Like Westfield, the Rams (12-4) challenged themselves early this season, suffering consecutive losses to Loudoun County, Flint Hill and Stone Bridge before reeling off six straight wins against Northern Region teams. The loss for the Stallions (10-3) was their first since they were swept at Chantilly on Sept. 10. South County was playing for just the second time since Sept. 22.
Now it's back to the drawing board for next week's rankings, where I can guarantee there will be plenty of movement as we look for any team capable of holding onto its spot.
October 9, 2009; 3:18 PM ET
Categories: AAA Concorde District , Chantilly High School , Robinson , South County , Volleyball , Westfield
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