Alexandria, Va (September 9, 2014) –
The Stone Bridge Bulldog volleyballers travelled to Alexandria tonight through rush hour traffic on the beltway for their fourth match of the season against the TC Williams Titans.
It took a while to warm up after that long ride, with the first set running close throughout the first 14 points.
SBHS finally earned a nice four point lead with sophomore defensive specialist Ryley Gill serving. Senior setter Amy Gottschling did a great job of mixing up the offense earning assists all across the front row with kills by senior middle Shannon Williams, junior outside hitter Ashlyn Dunlop, junior middle Caitlin Zura, senior outside hitter Heidi Engebreth, and sophomore right side attacker Gabbie Scudder. Strong offense and a number of timely block kills by Zura and Williams/Scudder allowed the Bulldogs to pull out a 25-16 win.
In the second set, SBHS took an early lead but the Titans fought back and came within two points after a bad call on a beautiful block tip by Zura which was deemed an error. The Bulldogs responded vigorously with two mighty kills, a beautiful solo block by Zura and a wicked spike by Dunlop which landed on the Titan setter’s chin, giving SBHS a seven point lead at 15-8. The Bulldogs kept this strong lead highlighted by a gorgeous slide kill by Williams. The Titans won a long intense rally with a solid back row attack by the Titan’s small but powerful go-to senior right side Alexus Foreman, followed by two ace serves by junior setter Bella Miller to bring the Titans a bit closer at 16-21. The Bulldogs kept the lead to the end, however, finishing the set with another solid solo block by Zura at 25-16.
The third set started out looking better for the Titans with strong serving by Foreman. But a side out at 4-3 brought an even stronger SBHS server up to the back line. Ashlyn Dunlop fired off seven aces out of nine serves, and was able to keep serving thanks to a smart setter dump by Gottshcling and excellent defensive plays by Gill and senior defensive specialist Bianca Mostert. The Bulldogs led 13-3 before Titans head coach Michael
Burch finally called a time out. Undaunted, Dunlop continued her serving streak, helped again by defensive saves by Mostert and Gill, and a big block kill by Engebreth/Williams. Titans called another TO at 3-17. An amazing dig by the Titans’ Foreman off a SBHS Williams slide did not deter the Bulldogs and they continued to fire back at the Titans until they drew a hitting error . Dunlop served two more of her powerful top spin jumpers until a dig error by SBHS finally led to a side out at 20-4.
Titans showed resilience getting the ball back several times, but could not pull themselves out of the deep scoring deficit created by Dunlop’s 16 consecutive serves earlier in the set. SBHS head coach Raschiatore subbed in freshman setter Katey Muskett who got her first assists of the match connecting with junior outside hitter Maddie Ashwell who scored twice quickly, finally ending the match at 25-9.