Loudoun County High School overwhelmed host Heritage in straight sets, 25-11, 25-17, 25-18, to serve its Leesburg rival its first volleyball loss of the season Sept. 4 in a Dulles District match.
The Raiders, who won four consecutive Virginia AA state titles from 2007-2010 before falling in the 2011 state semifinals, have yet to lose a set in their first three matches this season.
“This is probably one of the top three of our best teams in the last five years,” Loudoun County coach Jenica Matthias said. “We’re able to be consistent across the board in all of our hit and dig positions.”
The Raiders started off the first set strong, scoring six consecutive points before the Pride could finally respond. A series of Loudoun County kills and Heritage errors ended the first set 25-11.
After County reeled off the first four points of the second set, Heritage was able to respond quicker and took the lead 10-8, using a quick offensive strike. Nicole Orndoff and Maggie Phillips earned consecutive kills for the Raiders to pull even. From there, Taylor Huewe lobbed a shallow shot over the net as County regained the lead 11-10.
“She’s a great explosive vertical that allows her to hit down and hard in a variety of spots,” Matthias said. “Teams have to be able to adjust to defend her.”
The Raiders slowly pulled away from there. The Pride hit six balls out of bounds and one in the net to drop the second set 25-17.
County again went on a long run to start the third set, scoring six points before Heritage responded. Of the six points, Jane Feddersen scored three of them, blocking two shots and earning one kill. Dariel Montanez finally stopped County’s surge with Heritage’s first point of the set.
But the Raiders quickly bounced back. Feddersen added two aces and the Raiders continued to force Pride errors, at one point leading the set 12-3.
Though the Pride showed resiliance with a five-point rally during County’s match point, ultimately the Raiders proved to be too much and claimed the final set 25-18.
“We played as well as I expected, but we’re missing one of our middles, so we’re out of our rotation a bit,” Heritage coach Carmel Keilty said. “We’ll be ready next time. Hopefully next time, we’ll be a little more consistent.”
Huewe led the Raiders with 12 kills and added six digs and four blocks. Maggie Phillips added eight kills, while Feddersen led the Raiders in blocks with five. Megan Fox, Mandy Powers and Hannah Vandergrift all set up plays, as each player dished eight assists.
Brittney Crammer captained the offense on the Heritage side, tallying up 14 assists and six service points. Sydney Busa led the Pride in kills with seven and Montanez added six.
The Raiders (3-0) will host first-year Dulles District foe John Champe Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., while the Pride (2-1) travel to Sterling to take on Dominion.
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