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Volleyball: District tournament final previews

All but one district volleyball tournament wrap up Thursday night, and to prepare you for what's in store, we've got full breakdowns and previews of each championship match up.

For teams and players to watch in each of these tournaments, read my district tournament previews here.

AAA Northern Region

Concorde District

Final - 11/5, 6:30 p.m. (at Centreville)
No. 2 Robinson (16-5) vs. No. 1 Chantilly (18-2)

How they got here:
SF - Chantilly def. No. 4 Oakton 26-24, 25-15, 25-18
SF - Robinson def. No. 3 Herndon 21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 19-25, 15-11
(both teams had a first round bye)

Regular season meeting:
10/15 - Chantilly def. Robinson 25-19, 20-25, 16-25, 25-17, 20-18
The third-ranked Chargers overcame a 2-1 deficit and hung tough in a tightly contested fifth set to knock off the host Rams in what would decide the regular season district title.

How they match up:
The Chargers returned most of last year's state semifinal roster and are determined to reach the school's first state final this time around. Led by senior outside hitter Samantha Reeves and senior middle hitter Allison Williams, Chantilly features a balanced attack with plenty of weapons for senior setters Emily Wright and Andreea Linte to feed. Defensively, the Chargers know they must track Concorde District player of the year Susie Murach with multiple blockers, or else it could be a long night for the ladies in purple.
For Robinson, this is a chance at redemption after they seemed to have the regular season meeting in hand before letting it slip away. Murach - a lanky junior outside hitter with a vicious right arm - will again be the focal point as junior setter Tiffany Connatser looks to feed the team's most dangerous offensive weapon as often as possible. In their previous meeting, Connatser had 29 assists and Murach finished with 25 kills. The Rams need to shake off Wednesday's five-set win over Herndon and get off to a quick start in what has all the makings of another five-setter.

Liberty District

Final - 11/5, 7 p.m. (at Stone Bridge)
No. 2 Langley (13-9) vs. No. 1 Stone Bridge (20-2)

How they got here:
QF - No. 1 Stone Bridge def. No. 8 South Lakes 25-19, 25-19, 25-6
SF - No. 1 Stone Bridge def. No. 4 Langley 25-14, 25-5, 25-23
QF - No. 2 Langley def. No. 7 Marshall 25-20, 25-9, 25-1
SF - No. 2 Langley def. No. 3 Madison 25-12, 25-15, 19-25, 25-23

Regular season meeting:
10/15 - Stone Bridge def. Langley 25-12, 25-19, 25-22
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start and held off a late rally to sweep the visiting Saxons. Freshman outside hitter Ryan Ackermann had 15 kills to lead Stone Bridge and junior setter Amanda Miller added 35 assists. The Saxons, meanwhile, were without sophomore setter Nikki Hero, which disrupted the flow of their attack considerably.

How they match up:
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs dominated the district for a second straight year, sweeping through their regular season schedule without dropping a game to a Liberty foe. They're led by Miller's precise and deceptive setting and feature a stable of capable hitters in Ackermann, junior Christine Beckham (268 kills), senior Alexis Chism (101 kills) and sophomore Alexandra Heyn (65 blocks). Stone Bridge has not lost a game since a 3-1 win over Heritage on Sept. 23rd and expects nothing short of a return to the Northern Region semifinals.
The Saxons are led by Liberty District player of the year Elysse Richardson - a libero slight in stature but unrivaled within the district in leadership ability and knowledge of the game. Up front, they feature a collection of versatile hitters in Kathryn Caine, Carlie Owen, Lainey Le Blanc and Olivia Justus while Maddie Kotoriy and Christine Baek provide a serving spark on the back line.

National District

Final - 11/5 (at Yorktown)
No. 2 Hayfield (16-3) at No. 1 Yorktown (14-6)

How they got here:
QF - No. 1 Yorktown def. No. 8 Mount Vernon 25-12, 25-13, 25-12
SF - No. 1 Yorktown def. No. 5 Washington-Lee 25-17, 20-25, 25-16, 25-17
QF - No. 2 Hayfield def. No. 7 Falls Church 25-19, 25-21, 25-20
SF - No. 2 Hayfield def. No. 6 Edison 3-0

Regular season meeting:
9/24 - Yorktown def. Hayfield 25-15, 25-23, 25-23
National District player of the year Elyse Bush had 20 kills and 11 digs to lead the Patriots on the road against the newest members of the league.

How they match up:
The Patriots appeared poised to run the table in the National again this year until Bush went down with a torn ACL in their final match of the regular season against Washington-Lee. Without their main offensive weapon and team leader, they've had to regroup and rely on a balanced effort from the rest of the roster. Sophomore Ashley Rock has stepped up in a big way during the tournament, leading the team with 34 kills through two matches while junior Malaika Bain-Peachey has added 16 kills and 23 digs. Yorktown's role players must continue to elevate their play for the Patriots to add a tournament title to their regular season crown.
Hayfield has made waves in its first year with the National, rolling to a 16-3 record overall with the loss to the Patriots as the only blemish against league competition. Led by a pair of junior first-team all district selections Jessica Kolden (OH) and Alex Lambert (M), the Hawks had little trouble advancing to their first National District title match. With Bush out, they know Yorktown is beatable, but it will take a strong effort to knock off the defending champs in their own gym.

Patriot District

Final - 11/5, 7 p.m. (at South County)
No. 2 W.T. Woodson (14-5) vs. No. 1 South County (18-3)

How they got here:
QF - No. 1 South County def. No. 8 West Potomac 25-15, 25-12, 25-7
SF - No. 1 South County def. No. 5 Lake Braddock 25-12, 25-12, 22-25, 25-20
QF - No. 2 W.T. Woodson def. No. 7 Lee 25-12, 25-15, 25-17
SF - No. 2 W.T. Woodson def. No. 3 West Springfield 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22

Regular season meeting:
10/5 - South County def. W.T. Woodson 25-20, 25-21, 25-21
The Stallions swept their way past the Cavaliers on the road, but not without a fight. All three sets were hotly contested, but South County showed the kind of poise down the stretch that earned them a Patriot District title.

How they match up:
South County features the most dominant hitting duo in the district in Patriot player of the year Lindsay Stephens and middle Simone Antwi. Stephens has a big arm and great blocking technique at the net while Antwi's explosive kills often resonate two miles away. The Stallions feel this is their year to take the next step and challenge for a Northern Region title, and to make that happen, they need to be able to take care of business in their own league first.
The Cavaliers are unbeaten since their loss to South County and have won nine straight matches heading into Thursday's final. After clawing their way past a West Springfield team that handed the Stallions their lone defeat in the district, Woodson is battle tested and prepared to take on the favorites on their home floor. But to unseat the champs, they'll need a near flawless performance and big production from first-team all-district outside hitters Becky and Rachel Conway.

AAA Northwest Region

Cardinal District

Final - 11/5, 6 p.m. (at Freedom-Woodbridge)
No. 2 Osbourn Park (19-3) vs. No. 1 Forest Park (21-2)

How they got here:
SF - No. 1 Forest Park def. No. 4 Woodbridge 25-18, 25-17, 25-14
SF - No. 2 Osbourn Park def. No. 3 Potomac 3-1

Previous meetings:
9/24 (at OP) OP def. FP 25-22, 28-26, 25-22
10/20 (at FP) FP def. OP 27-25, 25-21, 25-17
11/2 (neutral site) FP def. OP 27-25, 25-17, 25-23
With three meetings all ready in the books this season, these two teams are plenty familiar with one another heading into Thursday's final. After the Yellow Jackets swept the Bruins in three very close games back in September, Forest Park took off. Since then they've won 15 straight matches, including two three-set victories against Osbourn Park, the most recent of which handed them the top seed in the tournament and an automatic Northwest Region berth.

How they match up:
The eighth-ranked Bruins have mowed down the competition in recent weeks thanks to a high-powered attack that features big-time recruits Kellie (Ole Miss) and Rachael Goss (GW). Together the senior sisters have combined for 486 kills, 324 digs and 127 blocks on the season and they may be the best one-two punch in the Northwest Region. Both sisters stepped up their play with the region berth on the line on Monday as Kellie rung up 20 kills while Rachael added 16 and 26 digs.
To beat the Bruins, Osbourn Park will need to limit the open looks the Goss sisters receive. It's no secret they're Forest Park's biggest weapons, but so far this season, no one has been able to shut them down. That said, the Yellow Jackets have firepower of their own with senior outside hitter Tori Price (George Mason), senior Andrea Testerman and junior setter Nikki McMillan. None of the nine sets between these two teams has been decided by more than eight points, so there's a good chance these two could go four or five sets to decide the title.

Cedar Run District

Final - 11/5, 7 p.m. (at Loudoun Valley)
No. 2 Heritage (13-7) at No. 1 Loudoun Valley (17-4)

How they got here:
SF - No. 1 Loudoun Valley def. No. 4 Osbourn 25-13, 25-14, 25-19
SF - No. 2 Heritage def. No. 3 Battlefield 25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19

Regular season meetings:
10/1 (at Her) Loudoun Valley def. Heritage 25-23, 25-20, 25-16
10/20 (at LV) Loudoun Valley def. Heritage 25-23, 22-25, 28-26, 22-25, 15-13
The Vikings took the first meeting in straight sets but had to scratch and claw their way to a dramatic five-set victory at home two weeks ago to win the Cedar Run title outright.

How they match up:
The Pride - who challenged themselves with a grueling non-district schedule - were the lone team in the district to push Valley to five sets this season. Led by junior outside hitters Lian Bernett (293 kills, 223 digs) and Emma Le Maitre up front, Heritage has some heavy hitters who could cause problems for Valley's defense. The key to their attack, however, is standout sophomore setter Stephanie Yokoyama, who is already one of the elite setters in the area in only her second varsity season.
Valley hasn't lost since Sept. 17 when they were swept at third-ranked Chantilly. Since switching their offense from a 6-2 to a 5-1 based around senior setter Nicole Bennett, they've reeled off 14 straight victories and will be one of the teams to beat in the Northwest Region. Senior outside hitter Morgan Clark is one of the best finishers around and will look to lead her team to the tournament title in what should be another exciting match up.

Region II

AA Dulles

The Dulles District tournament hits the semifinal stage Thursday with top seeds Loudoun County and Broad Run on a collision course for a fourth meeting this season in Saturday's final. With both teams sweeping through the rest of their regular season schedules, anything other than a Raiders-Spartans final would be a total shock. Loudoun County has already locked up the second seed in the Region II tournament while Broad Run must advance to the district tournament final to cash in on the program's best season since 1991.

First Round - 11/3, 7 p.m. (at higher seeds)
No. 4 Freedom def. No. 5 Potomac Falls 25-16, 25-10, 20-25, 25-20
No. 3 Briar Woods def. No. 6 Dominion 3-0
No. 2 Broad Run def. No. 7 Park View 25-15, 25-11, 25-10
Bye: No. 1 Loudoun County (18-2)

Semifinals - 11/5 (at Loudoun County)
1 - No. 4 Freedom vs. No. 1 Loudoun County (6 p.m.)
2 - No. 3 Briar Woods vs. No. 2 Broad Run (8 p.m.)

Final - 11/7, 7 p.m. (at Loudoun County)
Semifinal 1 winner vs. Semifinal 2 winner

AA Evergreen

Final - 11/5, 7 p.m. (at Kettle Run)
No. 2 Fauquier at No. 1 Kettle Run (19-3)

How they got here:
SF - No. 1 Kettle Run def. No. 4 Liberty 19-25, 25-9, 25-14, 25-16
SF - No. 2 Fauquier def. No. 3 Brentsville 3-0

Regular season meetings:
9/21 (at Fauquier) - Kettle Run def. Fauquier 3-1
10/13 (at KR) - Fauquier def. Kettle Run 3-1
11/2 (neutral site) - Kettle Run def. Fauquier 25-17, 25-15, 25-19
These teams are quite familiar with one another with both winning on the other's home floor during the season before Kettle Run took the tiebreaker in straight sets to earn the top seed and an automatic berth in the Region II tournament.

AA Region I

AA Battlefield

Final - 11/4 (at King George)
No. 2 Courtland vs. No. 1 Chancellor

How they got here:
No. 1 Chancellor def. No. 4 Spotsylvania 25-9, 25-13, 25-8
No. 2 Courtland def. No. 3 Culpeper

Regular season meetings:
9/28 (at Chan) - Chancellor def. Courtland 25-10, 28-26, 25-15
10/22 (at Court) - Chancellor def. Courtland 26-24, 25-18, 25-19
The Chargers handled Courtland just as they did the rest of the league, sweeping the Cougars in straight sets in both regular season meetings.

How they match up:
Despite the loss of junior middle hitter Mia Fortune to a season-ending injury, the Chargers are the odds-on favorite to roll past Courtland and into the Region I tournament one of the favorites. Outside hitter Adriana Ramos (169 kills) filled in nicely up front while senior outside hitter Seth Sullivan missed most of the regular season recovering from surgery. Now Sullivan is back in the fold, making the Chargers a real threat in the AA playoff picture.

By Matt Brooks  |  November 5, 2009; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  AA Dulles , AAA Cedar Run District , AAA Concorde District , AAA Liberty District , AAA National District , AAA Patriot District , Battlefield District , Evergreen District , Volleyball  
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