The Atlee Raiders went 4-1 at the annual Cave Spring Tournament of Champions in Roanoke over the weekend, squaring off against some of the top teams in Virginia. The lone loss was to defending State AA Champion Loudoun County, 18-25 and 23-25.
The Raiders topped Flint Hill (27-25, 11-25, 16-14), Jefferson Forrest (25-17, 25-13), Colonial Forge (25-20, 24-26, 19-17) and Frank Cox (20-25, 26-24, 17-15). All matches in the tourney were three sets to comply with VHSL in-season tournament regulations.
“I can’t say that we played our best, but to us it was about playing against some of the best competition in the state, and being able to compete,” Atlee head coach Curtis Carpenter said. “Our middles played but we need to be more consistent on the outside. It was a good learning experience on what we need to work on to play at the highest level and be able to get back to the state finals again this year.”
Atlee has shown dominance in the Central Region, winning every set against local competition in September and up to the Cave Spring event. Tuesday night, hosting Hanover, the Raiders lost their first set locally this year, falling 25-23 to the young Hawks in set one.
It only seemed to fuel a fire, as Atlee went on to a 3-1 win, winning the next three sets 25-13, 25-12 and 25-3 in dominating fashion. The Raiders now stand at 19-2 with five matches left in the regular season, including rematches with Lee-Davis and Glen Allen, before starting the postseason at the first-ever Conference 11 Tournament in early November.
On their way home from Roanoke, the Raiders stopped in Charlottesville to root on a former teammate, seeing Karlie Suber and the Virginia Cavaliers get their first ACC win of the year in a five-set thriller over Boston College.