It was all business for Loudoun County High School as it downed host Blacksburg in straight sets in the VHSL Class 4 state volleyball quarterfinals on Saturday.
“We didn’t know what to expect, you know,” said Loudoun County head coach Sherrilyn Hanna. “With the record these guys had coming in, only four losses, two of which to Lord Botetourt, who we lost to in a tournament in Roanoke. It’s hard to play a team you’ve never seen.”
The Raiders started strong in the first set, forcing Blacksburg to be in comeback mode the whole time.
The Raiders edged the Bruins, though, in a close set, 25-22.
The second set was all Loudoun County. The Raiders were both dominant and efficient, winning 25-13.
Not so fast, though. The third and final set turned out to be action-packed, and tight.
The Bruins jumped out to a commanding lead and held it for almost the entire set.
Yet the Raiders, like a machine, gradually wore down Blacksburg, winning 26-24 to secure a spot in the VHSL state semifinals.
“Next up for us is Millbrook on Tuesday in the state semifinals, at Millbrook,” Hanna said.
“They were able to stay in system very well,” said Blacksburg coach Nicole Taylor.
“We had a bunch of young kids on the court, whereas last year, we had a bunch of seniors.”
The Bruins finish the season with a 22-5 record, and the Raiders advance with a 26-3 record.
“We’re a growing program,” Taylor said. “Our JV program is very strong. It’ll be interesting to see how this team develops, and makes a run next year.”