Strasburg, Skyline off to 2-0 starts in volleyball

Strasburg's Delainey Stickley goes up for a kill between Stonewall's Israel Blank, left, and Hannah Alexander, right, during Tuesday night's match in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

Strasburg couldn’t have asked for a much better start to its volleyball season this week.

The Rams won both their matches, including a five-set thriller over Stonewall Jackson on Tuesday.

Strasburg won the first two sets, and was within 2 points of winning in either three or four sets, but the Generals battled back to force a fifth set. The Rams pulled away for a 25-23, 27-25, 23-25, 23-25, 15-4 victory.

The Rams had a very balanced attack in the win, including nine kills by sophomore Lauren Nofsinger and five kills by junior Madi Foltz.

“I have a good bench,” Strasburg coach Suzanne Mathias said “I feel like the bench is just as strong as the six starters. And I can turn to them, and I did. I turned to them and put different hitters in.”

Stonewall's Juliana Brill, left, and teammate Israel Blank, right, attempt a hit during Tuesday night's match against Strasburg in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Rams trailed 20-14 in the third set and 15-6 in the fourth set before rallying to tie each set up. However, the Generals responded each time to finish the set off.

Strasburg backed up that win with another victory Thursday night. The Rams beat Page County, 25-27, 25-22, 25-19, 25-12.

The Rams have a young team with seven sophomores on the squad. However, Mathias said at this point age doesn’t matter.

“I tell them young isn’t an excuse anymore,” Mathias said. “You’re a month in and young is no more. I don’t look at what grade you’re in; I look at what you’re doing in practice and on the court.”

Despite the loss, Stonewall Jackson coach Lindsey Dinges was happy with how her squad played.

Strasburg's Kassy Bly goes up for a kill against Stonewall's Israel Blank. Rich Cooley/Daily

“They’re meshing really good this year,” Dinges said. “The dynamnic is great. I’m just excited to see where they go. It’s discouraging to lose, but they know that we played really well, and we have a lot to build on.”

Junior Israel Blank had six kills and junior Autumn Smith had three to lead the way for Stonewall Jackson. It was the Generals’ only match of the week.

Strasburg hosts Warren County on Tuesday. Stonewall Jackson hosts Wilson Memorial on Tuesday and plays at Luray on Thursday.

Skyline

Skyline is off to a 2-0 start this season. The Hawks swept Eastern View on the road Tuesday night. They followed that up with a three-game sweep of Clarke County, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19.

Strasburg's Kyierra Ashby goes up for a hit against Stonewall Jackson's Jenna Patel. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Hawks have a veteran team with five seniors and five juniors. Some of the bumps Skyline took the last few years may pay off this year.

Skyline lost twice last year to Clarke County.

Next week Skyline plays its first Northwestern District match of the season at Millbrook on Tuesday, followed by another district contest at Brentsville on Thursday.

Warren County

Warren County had an up and down start to the season. The Wildcats lost their season opener at Millbrook, 25-13, 25-17, 25-16. Junior hitter Kaley Foulks led the way for the Wildcats with five kills, while Lauren Fox added three kills.

Stonewall's Israel Blank, center, celebrates a kill with teammates Juliana Brill, left, and Maria Knuff, right. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Wildcats followed that up with a sweep of Rappahannock County, 25-23, 25-18, 25-6. Britney Carter led Warren County with 13 kills, while Foulks had 10 kills, three aces and five digs. Fox added nine kills and two aces.

Warren County came within a set of qualifying for regionals last season, but lost quite a few players to graduation.

Warren County plays at Strasburg on Tuesday and then hosts Northwestern District opponent Handley on Thursday.

Central

Central started the season 0-2 this week. The Falcons lost to John Champe, 25-15, 25-20, 25-15, on Tuesday.

Strasburg's Daniella Henry reacts to a missed hit. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Falcons, who played their first two matches on the road, then lost to East Rockingham, 26-24, 25-16, 25-23.

Central has a very busy week next week. The Falcons play at Dominion on Aug. 28, then host Spotswood on Tuesday and play at Eastern Mennonite High School on Thursday.

Sherando

Sherando opened its season Thursday and fell to Turner Ashby, 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18.

The Warriors play at Northwestern District rival Fauquier on Tuesday and host Turner Ashby on Thursday.