Known for its premier rallying skills, fifth-ranked Langley left nothing to chance and defeated Osbourn Park, 25-16, 12-25, 25-22, 25-18, for the Virginia 6A North region volleyball title on Saturday in Manassas.
It is the first regional title since the 2007-08 season for the Saxons, and it erased some of the sting suffered last year when they lost in the Northern Region final to Stone Bridge.
The Saxons (24-3) will face 6A South runner-up Forest Park on Wednesday afternoon at the Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. The Yellow Jackets (19-9) will be pitted against 6A South champion First Colonial (Virginia Beach) later in the day.
Aside from a flat second set, Langley jumped out to early leads in every other game in what Coach Susan Shifflett described as the team’s best performance of the season.
“We were at this point last season and lost, so one of our goals this season was to get the regional title,” senior Alex Andrejev said. “This is something that we have been definitely working hard for this year.”
Andrejev filled the stat sheet with a team-high 14 kills, 12 assists and three blocks but made one unforgettable play that the noisy Osbourn Park fans followed with an “overrated” chant for the Columbia recruit.
Ahead 20-13 in the third set, Andrejev attempted to kill the ball from a tough angle, but the ball hit the antenna.
Andrejev quickly laughed off the play and scored on a kill and assisted on two others to close the set.
“I tried to take the shot. I just went up there and swung,” Andrejev said. “You have to keep playing every single point after any mistake like that. Even though it hit the antenna, I was ready to swing on the next one just as hard.”
Outside hitter Jessica Donaldson also recorded 14 kills. She picked her spots well and came in with a lot of energy after a gritty performance in Thursday’s win over South County.
“I just felt like the bad energy was out of me tonight,” Donaldson said. “This game we had nothing to lose because we were going to states anyway. But we really wanted it after last year’s loss.”
Note: In other regional final action from around the area, Forest Park lost in five sets to First Colonial in the 6A South region final; top-ranked Loudoun County kept its unbeaten record in tact by defeating James Wood, 25-12, 25-10, 25-12, in the 4A North final; and Stone Bridge knocked off Broad Run, 25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18, in the 5A North final, its fourth consecutive region title.