Stone Bridge High School capped an impressive run in the AAA Northern Region volleyball tournament with a 25-18, 23-25, 26-24, 25-11 victory over Liberty District rival Langley in the championship match Nov. 10 at Centreville High School.
The Bulldogs (26-2) won the region title for a third consecutive year. Stone Bridge swept Lake Braddock, Centreville and South County on its way to reaching the final.
Stone Bridge regained its footing with the dominant run in the region tournament after dropping two of its previous three matches, including a loss to Langley to conclude the regular season. The Bulldogs won their first 21 matches of the season.
“It helped inspire us to get back on track,” Stone Bridge coach Jill Raschiatore said. “We were able to regain our focus. I think they got hungry to win again.”
Shannon Williams and Libby Haslett each recorded 14 kills, and Ryan Ackermann added 12 kills against Langley. Cydney Gill dished out 40 assists, Sarah Fairchild scooped 23 digs and Mariah Brantley served three aces in the win.
Overall, eight Bulldogs made strong contributions on the stat sheet. Raschiatore noted her team’s depth has been key.
“We are very diverse. We don’t need to rely on one player,” she said. “When things get tough, we have several players that can step up. That balance really helps us get through.”
Fairchild earned All-Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after producing 69 digs and 10 aces in the Bulldogs’ four region victories. Ackermann (57 kills, 51 digs, six blocks) and Haslett (44 kills, 11 blocks) were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Stone Bridge has qualified for the Virginia AAA state volleyball tournament for a third consecutive year, advancing to the state final in 2010 and were state semifinalist in 2011.
The Bulldogs will host Albemarle in the state quarterfinals Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
-All photos by Rick Wasser
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