2022.11.15 Volleyball: VHSL Class 4 Semifinal, Dominion @ James Wood

Winchester, VA (November 15, 2022) - When you reach the state semifinals, you don't usually get to play a familiar opponent. But that was not the case when the Dominion Titans visited the James Wood Colonels. Just two weeks prior, the two teams had met for an epic thriller for the Region 4C championship. James Wood won that one, but it took five sets to do it with Dominion falling just short. Both teams won their state quarterfinals, which brought them back together again to decide who gets to play in the state championship.

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

Set 1: James Wood 25 - Dominion 19 (1-0)

The Titans maintained a two-point lead for the first half of the set, expanding it to 17-14 before the Colonels took over. Behind serves from Kennedy Spaid, James Wood reeled off ten straight points on their way to winning the set and taking the match lead.

Set 2: Dominion 25 - James Wood 19 (1-1)

Between sets, Dominion head coach Phuong Tat took his team into the hallway for a strategy session. Whatever he said worked as the Titans vaulted to a 6-1 lead and were never really threatened as they expanded the margin to a match best, 21-10. To her credit, James Wood head coach Adrienne Patrick called a late timeout that got her team back into it but never closer than that original five-point difference.

Set 3: James Wood 25 - Dominion 23 (2-1)

The third set was both the most intense of the night and the backbreaker. James Wood had a solid lead early, at 12-6, but Dominion fought back and went in front 19-17. Freshman outside hitter Megan Hiltner had three straight impressive kills to give the Titans a surprising lift, but the Colonels surged again to close out the set and steal the match momentum.

Set 4: James Wood 25 - Dominion 19 (3-1)

Dominion took an early lead, 5-2, but with Hannah McCullough serving James Wood went in front 7-5. The Titans took the lead back at 13-10, but it was all tied at 13-13. The set and the match were broken wide open behind stellar serves from Paige Ahakuelo, who helped propel the Colonels to an insurmountable 20-14 lead. Despite their best efforts, the Titans would never get closer, and the celebration and planning for a James Wood trip to Richmond ensued.

Final Score: James Wood 3 - Dominion 1

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