Rams come up with Senior Night win

STRASBURG – With Cassie Cooper serving and sophomore Daniella Henry cleaning up around the net, Strasburg scored a 3-2 Bull Run District victory over William Monroe on Senior Night, Tuesday.

Cooper, one of five seniors who were introduced with their families at the Strasburg High School gym, scored seven aces and Henry etched a double-double with 15 kills and 11 blocks as the Rams (6-13 overall, 3-10 district) snatched a home victory before entering their regular season finale Thursday at cross-county rival Central.

“We won’t know until Central how we will be affected for our conference tournament and playoff seeding,” said Strasburg coach Suzanne Mathias.

The Rams will play at least one conference tourney game, and perhaps at home, when their post-season tournament begins for one week.

But, for one night at least, the purple-clad home team could celebrate winning a match for the first time since Oct. 3.

“We finally came together as a team and started playing that way. We communicated when things got hard and just continued to believe in each other,” said Cooper, who was playing her final regular season at home.

“We battled,” said Mathias.

Several days ago when the Rams were shut out, Mathias said she questioned if her girls were even interested in playing. Tuesday, with good crowds on hand for both sides of this volleyball match, the Rams showed her they were.

Warren County defeated Strasburg 3-0 in a match in which the most points the Rams scored in a game were 17. This night was different.

Even when the Rams were down a set, 2-1, they came back to take the match-tying fourth set 25-16 and then finished the match with a 15-13 victory in the fifth-set decider.

William Monroe (4-14, 3-10) had beaten Strasburg 3-0 when the teams met earlier in the year.

Having won the first set by four and then dropping two straight frames, the Rams hit a crossroads. They could either sink in the fourth set or fight back.

Strasburg led early before the teams started playing back and forth. Actually, the match was tied nine times before Henry personally took over. She served two straight aces and then added a kill. An unforced error on the visiting Dragons gave the Rams an insurmountable 5-point lead and then closed out the set.

The match was knotted at two victories apiece.

The first few points of set four had been reminiscent of the previous frame.

After Strasburg took an early lead, the match would be tied six times before the Rams picked up a 10-8 advantage on a William Monroe mistake.

The home team would push that lead to six, 18-12, on a series of errors against the visitor.

William Monroe never got closer than four points as Strasburg picked up the win.

Strasburg held off William Monroe in the fifth set with a Henry kill.

Strasburg fell behind early in set one, 7-1, but tied the frame at 21. They scored the final four points with senior Cortney McDonald serving and junior Hannah Alexander passing. It was an Alexander assist to Cooper which made the difference on final point and a 25-21 Strasburg win.

There were seven ties in the second frame before the Dragons scored six straight to take a commanding 19-13 which they held to tie the match at a set apiece.

The visitors scored six straight points to earn the third set verdict.

“We were just way more competitive tonight,” said Cooper. “This will be a special memory because it was senior night. Now, we have a rivalry coming up to finish the season.”