The volleyball traveled on a horizontal trajectory, flatly flitting from Loudoun County sophomore Taylor Borup’s twisted wrist. From Borup’s release point, the ball sailed a foot above Stone Bridge’s defenders before it found a gap at the heart of the court.
On the ensuing point, Borup traded a soft touch for a power spike, delivering the first of three straight sets to the top-ranked Raiders in a 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 sweep on Monday night in Ashburn.
Borup, at 6 feet 3 the tallest player on the court, showcased a variety of deft tips that frustrated diving players from the third-ranked Bulldogs and added to a match-high 15 kills in a meeting of Virginia powers.
Borup said she approached the net naturally, letting her reflexes strategize for her.
“I just go for it,” she said.
Looking down at every other player on the court helps.
“It’s easy to see when you’re up there,” Stone Bridge Coach Jill Raschiatore said. “I wouldn’t know personally, but I believe it’s probably easy to see. She’s a tough kid and she just keeps getting better.”
Loudoun County (9-0) paired Borup with 6-2 middle Jane Feddersen to create a wall on the block that Coach Jenica Brown called “non-hit-throughable.”
Senior Maggie Phillips provided a safety net for the Raiders’ skyscrapers, lunging for seven digs and sending home 12 kills.
Feddersen notched four blocks to go with six kills and completed about the only task left on her high school checklist.
She has won two Virginia AA championships, three Region II titles and three Dulles District crowns. But because she did not make the varsity as a freshman in 2010, she hadn’t beaten Stone Bridge, which had won two of the previous three meetings with the Raiders in five-set contests.
She said beating them in their gym made the victory “even better.”
Stone Bridge (11-1) has won three straight Virginia AAA Northern Region titles, but lost in the state tournament each of those years.
In 2010, when Loudoun County delivered one of the Bulldogs’ two losses, Stone Bridge advanced to the state final.
“If you’re going to pick one match to lose all season, it would be this one,” Raschiatore said.
“Hopefully they exposed our weaknesses and showed us what we need to work on.”
There were 13 ties in the match, but the Bulldogs could not build any momentum over Loudoun County’s block.
The Bulldogs travel to undefeated No. 6 Madison on Tuesday night.