2021.11.09 Volleyball: VHSL Region 5D Final

Ashburn, VA (November 9, 2021) - It's often difficult to compare two teams when they meet in a regional championship. They probably haven't played each other and they are likely to have few common opponents. But that actually wasn't the case when the Patrick Henry Patriots traveled to play the Stone Bridge bulldogs for the Region 5D title.

In fact, both teams had played in a round-robin, early season tournament at Western Albemarle, and the Patriots won their direct three-set matchup, 2-1. In addition to the teams in that tournament, they had each played Briar Woods. Patrick Henry swept the Falcons in a regional semifinal while Stone Bridge took the Potomac District championship from Briar Woods in a tough five-set match, 3-2.

Home court advantage gave Stone Bridge an edge, but statistics pointed to Patrick Henry and gave Patrick Henry a boost of confidence.

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

The Patriots were tentative to start the first set. Unable to create receipt of serve consistency they fell into a hole, 7-1. While they did settle down, they could not fully close that early gap. The Bulldogs' game was clean and relatively error free, if not dominant, and that was really all they needed to take the set, 25-18.

The second set was much more competitive. It had a similar initial feel to the first set with Stone Bridge out to a 9-4 lead, but the Patriots tied it at 16-16 behind some big hits from Marella Hudson. From that point it was neck-and-neck, but the Bulldogs scored the final three points--buoyed by a raucous student section--to win the set 25-22 and lead the match 2-0.

Stone Bridge simply took over the match from that point on. In a powerful third set, setter Trisha Guevara was near perfection as she established a championship tempo. And her teammates obliged with crushing hits and deft touches from Gabby Flamish, Lilah Stevens, Allison Gardner, and Juliana Fedak sweeping Stone Bridge to a 25-9 / 3-0 win and a regional title.

Both teams advance to the Class 5 state tournament with seedings and pairing to come as other regional brackets are completed.

Final Score: Stone Bridge 3 - Patrick Henry 0

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