After No. 3 Stone Bridge defeated Princess Anne in four sets Wednesday in the 5A semifinal at the Siegel Center at VCU Libby Haslett was giddy in the the media room. The Bulldogs outside hitter took pictures with a microphone and quickly became comfortable.
That should hardly be a surprise because for the next four years Haslett will call the Siegel Center home. Monday, she called Rams Coach Jody Rogers and gave her oral commitment to VCU. She said Rogers let out a huge scream when hearing the news.
Haslett took her visit three weeks ago to Richmond and fell in love with the urban campus.
“I liked that there was so much going on, and the girls were so welcoming to me,” Haslett said. “You can tell they had a great time and the buildings were all updated. It was just awesome.”
She chose VCU over offers from Mississippi State, UMBC, Concordia, Mercer and Radford.
Her commitment to VCU gives her a lot of stability. Growing up, Haslett has lived in New Orleans (twice), Pittsburgh, St. Louis and then moved to Ashburn as a sophomore. Mobility is just part of the lifestyle when you’re the daughter of Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
“I think it’s a good fit for here, I think she’s capable of making an impact there,” Stone Bridge Coach Jill Raschiatore said. “Hopefully she can get some playing time right away. It’s right here in Northern Virginia and I think that her mom [Beth] can get to a lot of games.”
Raschiatore has watched the 5-foot-11 Haslett grow from mainly an offensive player her sophomore year, to an all-around talent that can play anywhere on the floor.
“She’s definitely become a lot stronger as a hitter,” Raschiatore said. “She’s definitely more powerful and explosive now than she was a sophomore. Her blocking is a lot better. This year, specifically, her defense and her back row play has made huge leaps and bounds.”
Haslett has knocked down 337 kills this season on a team that Wednesday made its third consecutive trip to the Virginia state semifinals. The Bulldogs will play for their first state title since 2010 Saturday at 7 p.m. against Atlee.
“For six of our players, it’s our last chance to win,” Haslett said. “We’ve been here three years in a row. We’re saying third time’s a charm and this is our year. We’re working so hard because we all know this is our time to get it.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 48
The number of matches No. 1 Loudoun County has won in a row, its most recent is a sweep over Grafton in the 4A semifinal. The Raiders will face Jamestown Saturday at 5 p.m. in the hunt for their sixth state title in seven seasons.
–In Maryland, the 4A West football final is a rematch from three weeks ago between Northwest and Quince Orchard while unbeaten Gwynn Park, Patuxent meet in Maryland 2A South football final following parallel paths.
–In Virginia, rivals Robinson and Westfield will collide in a 6A North quarterfinal while Centreville prepares for South County triple-option.
— For all the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. football playoff coverage in the area head to our home page.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
We have several video previews of playoff games here.
No. 13 Stone Bridge vs. Broad Run
No. 2 Centreville vs. South County
No. 8 Quince Orchard vs. No. 14 Northwest
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: