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After controlling most of their girls volleyball match at Glen Allen Tuesday night, Lee-Davis let the homestanding Jaguars back into the match with a 26-24 third set win.
Needing a seminal moment, at 19-16, Kendyll Brown took a short set and thundered the ball home on a kill that sent the Confederates on a roll. Five points later, Lee-Davis had its 10th victory of the season.
The four-set victory (25-20, 25-12, 24-26, 25-16) for coach Sharon Gaston’s squad positions them well for their first of two showdowns against region leader, and 2012 state runner-up, Atlee, Thursday night, having beaten Glen Allen on the road and swept Hanover at home in their past two games.
The sweep of the Hawks last Thursday was not easy by any means, according to Gaston.
“The crowd [at Hanover] is always loud, [Hanover coach] Karl [Lippa] always gets those girls fired up, and it isn’t always pretty, but they do not quit,” Gaston said. “It’s always an intense match going against Hanover.”
It’s also not easy going to Glen Allen, winners of four straight before Tuesday’s game. The proof came in the third set, when Lee-Davis took leads of 15-11 and 19-14. Then, the Jaguars (6-8) stormed back, going on a 12-5 run to take set three and seize the momentum.
There were several moments in set four where the Jaguars could have sent the match to a fifth set tiebreaker, but Lee-Davis hung around early, took the lead at 14-12, setting the stage for Brown’s key kill.
Also key to the recent success of Lee-Davis is sophomore libero Rianna Riccardi. Her left-handed serves throw off opponents, her digging is impressive, and she can be lightning on the court.
“Rianna has quick feet and reads very well,” Gaston noted. “She’s learning to let herself be good, and I think she’s enjoying it.”
Lee-Davis will need their best work from Riccardi and the rest of the team when Atlee, 11-1, visit Thursday. The Raiders prepared by sweeping Henrico in three sets Tuesday night, while Hanover’s scheduled match at Varina was postponed due to no electricity at Varina’s gymnasium.
Douglas Freeman defeated Patrick Henry in four sets on Tuesday, 25-17, 25-18, 20-25, 26-24, moving the Patriots to 4-6 on the season.