2021.11.06 Volleyball: VHSL Region 5D Semifinal

Ashburn, VA (November 6, 2021) - This match marked the fourth time the Stone Bridge Bulldogs and Riverside Rams had met this fall. The Bulldogs finished the regular season in first place and won the Potomac District tournament, but there really wasn't a lot separating the two teams. In fact, the Rams had beaten the Bulldogs on the Stone Bridge court, a rare triumph for any team this season.

In this fourth meeting in just over a month, it remained to be seen who would do the most with all of that familiarity.

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

The first two sets were perfect examples of hustling team play by the Rams. It was as if they had willed together that no ball would hit the court on their side of the net. Diving, digging, passing, hitting and ball placement were just exceptional, and the noise from the Riverside stands was easily eclipsing the home crowd's volume. The Rams' Zoe Thomas was particularly effective with finesse shots that confounded Bulldog blockers.

When Riverside hit the winning shot of the second set, the Stone Bridge side seemed stunned to be down suddenly, 2-0, with a trip to the region final on the line. 25-21 and 25-20 were reasonably close sets, but they were not what anyone expected--excepting, of course, the Riverside bench.

And that's when Stone Bridge started their comeback. Behind incredible hitting from Lilah Stevens off picture perfect sets fromTrisha Guevara, the Bulldogs completely reversed the afternoon's momentum. Now it was the home team's turn to hit on all cylinders, and Stone Bridge muscled the third and fourth sets away from Riverside, 25-16 and and 25-15, setting the tone for the deciding set.

But Riverside was not done and took the early lead in the fifth. Ahead 7-4 and serving, the Rams could almost taste a victory. But it was not to be as Stone Bridge surged to tie the score 10-10. Neither team was ready to concede, yet the Bulldogs found a way to capture the last two deciding points and win, 15-13.

Final Score: Stone Bridge 3 - Riverside 2

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