Troxell, Warren County earn sweep of Strasburg

By Jim Laise sports@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG — Most around the Bull Run District are aware of Warren County’s Autumn Troxell for her inside game around the net. On Tuesday, playing on the road before Strasburg High School’s high energy home crowd, the senior added serving to her repertoire.

She helped lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-19) victory over league rival Strasburg.

In each set the Wildcats (5-2, 5-2 Bull Run) found themselves trailing the Rams (5-4, 3-4) for at least a portion of the time, but with Troxell leading the way the visitors overcame disadvantages and the raucous home crowd. The senior recorded five kills, four aces and three blocks for the match.

“I felt it was a game of runs,” Warren County coach Sarah Putnam said. “We’d make a run, then they’d make a run, then we’d make a run. We’re happy to come out with a win. It was overcoming those deficits that helped us prove the difference before a great home crowd.”

Troxell’s serve certainly played a big part in the outcome as well.

“I’ve been working on my jump-starting serve for a while,” Troxell said. “I think it’s a little harder to return if you can get it down. We played well here and wouldn’t let the crowd get in our heads. We definitely have to talk. We had to get blocks, digs and our serves in to win.”

Troxell’s serve was particularly onerous in the third and defining set. With the Wildcats down 9-6, she served four straight aces to send her team ahead 10-9. Strasburg made it interesting, tying the match at 11-all, but Warren County went back on top 12-11, never to trail in the set again.

In set one, Warren held a 19-18 lead until scoring the final six points. In the second set, Strasburg was ahead 15-13 until eight straight points by the Wildcats turned the tide.

“Autumn’s serving was good and her play at the front net was strong too,” Putnam said. “We try to teach most of our girls to play inside and out. The more each player can contribute doing different things, the better it is for us.”

Strasburg presented a front line of Hannah Keane, Emily Alexander and Kerrigan Jenkins to the Wildcats who countered with Troxell, Jayme Goode.

“I thought we did a good job up front where we knew they were strong. Overall, I thought we did a good job,” Troxell said.

Goode, a junior, converted three kills, a block and an ace. Hannah Wilson had three aces for the Wildcats.

For Strasburg, co-captain Keane had four kills and three blocks; Carey Scott had five aces and three kills and Rachel Funkhouser had three kills.

Strasburg led 7-2 in the first set, 15-13 in the second and 7-1 in the third, but Warren matched the Rams each time.