Sports / The Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com
Skyline tops Millbrook in volleyball
By Brad Fauber
FRONT ROYAL -- Skyline finally ended its drought against Northwestern District opponents with a win over visiting Millbrook on Tuesday.
The Hawks entered the match against the Pioneers having lost their last 12 matches in district competition. Skyline's last district victory came on Oct. 28, 2010 against Millbrook.
On Tuesday, the Hawks were able to hold off the pesky Pioneers for a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-22) sweep.
"We really wanted this win tonight," said Hawks coach Lesley Detweiler. "We came out and played hard, and played for 25 points. I'm really proud of them for doing that."
Skyline (7-5, 1-2 Northwestern) may have picked up the sweep, but Millbrook (3-12, 0-4) made sure the Hawks had to work for each victory.
The Hawks opened the first set by taking a 10-5 lead as the Pioneers committed eight errors during the stretch. Millbrook then fought back to tie the set at 13-all on an ace by junior Brooke Russell, and Russell used a quick pass to set up teammate Brittany Whitacre for a kill to give the Pioneers a 14-13 lead.
Millbrook took a late 21-19 on back-to-back kills by Courtney Adams, but Skyline used a strong effort from the service line by senior Brianna Lewis to come back and steal the victory.
Lewis served up three aces to set the Hawks up with game point, and the senior made a diving dig attempt on a Millbrook attack that fell between four Pioneers for the set-winning point.
"[The serves] were definitely important, because if we miss our serves, that's a point lost," Lewis said. "It's very important for us to get our serves in. I just went back there and felt good, and just hit the ball."
Skyline's offense found some nice balance in the second set, as Carrie Robinson (four kills), Jenny Norman (three kills), Lauren Moore (two kills) and Courtney Kidd (two kills) all recorded multiple kills.
Lewis played a key role in orchestrating Skyline's offensive attack, as the senior dished out 16 assists on the night. Kidd led the Hawks with six total kills, and Robinson and senior Sarah Beamer added five kills apiece.
"We worked hard this week trying to prepare, we really worked hard on offense and being confident and being aggressive in our offense," said Detweiler. "I think that really paid off tonight, because we had some really good swings."
Skyline led from start to finish in the second game, but Millbrook erased an 18-9 deficit to make things interesting late in the game. The Hawks aided the Pioneers with eight unforced errors over the final stretch, and Millbrook got some timely kills, including one by Holly Stevens to pull Millbrook to within 22-21.
"I think we were definitely starting to focus, but then I don't know if they just got tired or what," said Pioneers coach Ashley Sutphin. "We're young and sometimes it's hard to play together ... it's definitely our learning curve."
Skyline led for nearly all of the third set as the Hawks used four kills by Beamer and three aces by Moore to keep the Pioneers at bay. Millbrook kept it close, trailing just 23-21 late, but a Beamer kill set up Skyline with match point, and a Pioneers attack error ended the match.
Tuesday's victory gives the Hawks something to build on as they face cross-town rival Warren County today before beginning the second half of their district schedule.
"I think that it will absolutely help. It will give us some positives going into the rest of district play," Detweiler said. "And it was a 3-0 win, so that's even better."
Sports writer Brad Fauber can be reached at 540-465-5137 ext. 184 or firstname.lastname@example.org