A season of success

Girls volleyball team wins Liberty District title


The girls volleyball team celebrates their district title at Langley High School. They won the Liberty District championship against Langley on October 25.

It is rare to see any sports team at any level have a season of complete, sustained dominance. This fall, the varsity girls volleyball team had a season like this. The team achieved great success during the regular season, and this success, players say, translated directly to the playoffs. On October 25, the team won the Liberty District championship. This caused great celebration amongst the team, and a hunger for even greater success.

“[The success] did a lot for team morale, and I feel like we had a lot more confidence as a team,” co-captain and junior Kate Sheire said. “It helped us win more games because we play better when we have a lot of confidence.”

There were few moments of disappointment for the volleyball team during this fall’s regular season. The team won its first eight regular season games, and did not lose a single set of non-tournament play until their victory at Yorktown on September 17, where they won three sets to two. The team finished the regular season with a 15-1 record, winning each of their last three games by scores of three sets to none.

“Being on varsity for four years, [I have] waited for a season like this,” co-captain and senior Gina DeLancey said. “We definitely knew we could do it, we just had to put in the work. This season, I was so grateful for our coaches, because they put so much time in, and I have never been so proud of a team in my life.”

The varsity team say they went into the playoffs looking to build on their regular season success, and prove once and for all that they were the best team in the Liberty District. They rolled through their first playoff game, beating Herndon three sets to none on the school’s home court.

“After the Herndon game we were pretty confident,” DeLancey said. “But we knew that Langley was tough competition.”

The volleyball team then faced its toughest challenge of the season in the district championship game against the Langley Saxons, the one team that beat them during the regular season. They played this game at Langley, taking away the team’s home court advantage.

“We weren’t really afraid; we had beaten them at home in three sets,” Sheire said. “Then we took them to five [sets] on their own court. They had a really big crowd which kind of helped hype us up, [and] I think that we were definitely really ready to beat them.”

They started by winning the first set of the championship game 25-20. The Saxons were then able to respond in the second set, beating the Generals by the same score. “We got a bit complacent in the second set,” Sheire said. “We got a bit of confidence, which I think caused us to lose. We talked about it as a team, and going into the last couple of sets, we were ready to focus up and get back to basics.”

The team knew that the third set was a must-win affair for the purposes of momentum and confidence, and they did. They then used the momentum from this 25-21 third set win to close out the game in the fourth set, and win the Liberty District championship.

“[It was] so exciting,” Sheire said. “We were so thankful for all the hard work, and there was a lot of hugging and cheering and our parents were really excited.”

The Generals continued their hot streak in the Northern Regional Tournament, beating Battlefield three sets to none to advance to the regional semi-final. However, the season came to a close after that semi-final game, as the team lost to Westfield three sets to two.

While the team did not attain their goal of advancing to the state tournament and beyond, the success they achieved during the regular season and the Liberty District championship trophy they now hoist are causes for celebration for the school’s volleyball team.

“Winning games was awesome,” DeLancey said. “But honestly the friendships I made on the team were irreplaceable. Everyone was so close this year, and I think that’s why we had so much success.”