Aldie, VA (September 8, 2021) - A roster comparison of the Lightridge Lightning and the Potomac Falls Panthers produces a striking difference. Potomac Falls has seven seniors, and Lightridge 2. The Panthers have no freshmen or sophomores listed while the Lightning has a total of six, nearly half of their varsity roster.

In other words, on paper there was a serious gap in high school playing experience between the two teams when they met in Aldie. And their records indicated the same with Potomac Falls at 2-1 while Lightridge had a single set win in three losing matches so far.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

And the first set went the way you might expect. The Panthers used a steady, team-oriented approach making few mistakes and banking on the Lightning to make their share, which they did. The Lightridge attack lacked energy and organization, and they had consistent trouble with receipt of serve. The Lightning was not without their moments, but Potomac Falls won the first set easily, 25-13.

In the second set, the balance of play began to shift slowly, but surely. Behind the triple electric threat of Kameron Mentis, Madison Stokes, and Kendall Washington, the Bolts offense suddenly started finishing everything. What was an error-prone first set gave way to an efficiently played second, which Lightridge won 25-18.

That set was not a complete reversal of the first as Potomac Falls remained competitive. No, the reversal would come in the third as Lightridge continued with punishing hits from Mentis, in particular. And every time Sarah Hershberger rotated in to serve, the Lightning ran off a solid string of points leading the way to a 25-12 set win. Now with all the momentum, the Lightning surged into the fourth set.

As happens in competitive volleyball, Potomac Falls found their game again behind libero Carris Morris and  hitters Tami Alterace and Caroline Blake. The score was tight as the set progressed, with both teams in front at times by a point or two, but the Panthers had the lead and the momentum at 22-20, but a final push by the Bolts produced a 25-23 set win and their first victory of the season for the young Lightridge program.

Final Score: Lightridge 3 - Potomac Falls 1

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