Leesburg, VA (September 18, 2015) – The Dominion High School Varsity Volleyball Titans visited the Loudoun County Raiders and accomplished something they have been working toward for years – defeating the reigning state champions, and they did it in the hostile confines of the LCHS Raiders home gym.
The DHS VB Seniors shone brightly last night, equally impressive on offense and defense, with Captains Abby Brewer and Bailey Hartzell leading the way. Abby and Bailey were unflappable, taking everything the Raiders threw at them, and putting points away with violence and finality. Senior setter and powerful right-side hitter Julia Avoletta was remarkable, especially in the critical closing of Set 5, with kills that turned the tide. The calming influence and powerful play of the DHS Seniors gave the underclassmen the confidence they needed, and the courage required, to stand up and go toe-to-toe with the powerhouse Raiders.
Junior Outside Hitter Mikayla Lyles was a warrior, Truly Titan in her performance. She stood at the service line, staring down elimination (set point after set point), and coolly, calmly, and violently served up service winner after service winner. The Titans were down, and nearly out, but Mikayla turned the tide and brought the Titans back into striking distance. Her powerful attack on the outside, coupled with her shut-down defense, provided critical points the Titans needed to stay alive and turn fearless defense into powerful offense.
Junior Libero Abigail Lambert held the back line all night long, feeding pass after pass to the DHS setters, who gave the DHS attackers everything they needed to carry the night. Her coverage in dig defense was nothing short of spectacular.
Junior Setter Brooke Weber, long an inspirational defensive player for the DHS Titans, took both her setting and defensive prowess to a new level against LCHS, sacrificing her body to keep plays alive and chasing down passes to put up beautiful sets all night.
Sophomore Middle Katie Gilley grew a few years of experience against LCHS last night. Her fearless play at the net and a never-quit attitude contributed crucial points at critical times.
Spot play from the DHS reserves deserves recognition. Despite the very difficult task of jumping from the bench and immediately contributing high-quality play, the DHS bench did its job and kept the Titans in the fight.
In the end, however, it was the DHS defense that made the difference. LCHS, rife with power hitters, was unable to solve the hard-working and dauntless defense of the Titans who put up one dig after another to keep rallies alive and give the DHS attack, with plenty of power of its own, opportunities to end points on their own terms. This was truly a win for the ages and will live on in Dominion High School lore.