Flint Hill volleyball beats Holy Cross for city championship with balanced attack

November 4, 2013

Opening Monday’s city volleyball championship with back-to-back kills, No. 2 Flint Hill’s Morgan McKnight and Ally Ford made clear the pace the Huskies were going to play: fast and relentless.

Ford’s first kill, which gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead, ricocheted off a No. 4 Holy Cross defender’s hands and nearly smashed into the scoreboard over the entrance doors to the Elizabeth Seton gym.

From that point the Huskies dominated Holy Cross in straight sets, 25-10, 25-18, 25-14, to win their second consecutive city title.

“We really wanted it and we’re confident, but we know we can always go down,” Ford said. “Pulling together and playing together, that’s what put us over the top.”

Ford posted eight kills, each furiously smashing into a Holy Cross defender or the open area she decided on. Her outside-hitter counterpart McKnight, a sophomore transfer from Osbourn Park, added seven kills and two blocks. Setting up McKnight and Ford was junior Allie Fellows, who had 13 assists for the Huskies.

Defensively, Flint Hill (28-3) wanted to close all lanes and send two defenders at every kill attempt against a Holy Cross team it hadn’t played since last season’s city title thriller.

The result: 12 blocks and 20 kills allowed to a team whose outside hitter, Rhamat Alhassan, is fourth in the area in kills. Alhassan had seven kills and one block for the Tartans.

Junior Michelle Abt registered six of those blocks and always seemed to be at the net along with another Flint Hill defender.

“We knew going in how good she was,” Abt said of Alhassan. “We knew we had to keep an eye on her wherever she was on the floor and put the block up strong whenever she hit it.”

Ahead 24-14 in the final set, Ford’s final serve hit off a defender’s chest into the crowd to close out the Huskies’ fourth city title in five years.

“Having the last point was really great, but winning the championship was much more rewarding,” Ford said. “Coming back together in the huddle with another city title is just amazing.”

Holy Cross (26-2) ended its season with a loss in the city title game for the second year in a row. Flint Hill will host O’Connell on Wednesday in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament.

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