Add Bill Teel to the growing list of the Loudoun Valley High School volleyball team's admirers.
Brentsville was beaten Monday night, 15-3, 15-2, by the host Vikings in a nondistrict match that took only 40 minutes--and the Tigers coach got a glimpse of why the Purcellville school has been able to compile a 10-1 record so far this season.
The Vikings "are a tremendous team," said Teel, whose squad fell to 3-7 with the loss. "They are the best team I've seen in a long time."
The combination of senior Kelly Sullivan and junior Valerie Murphy powered Loudoun Valley in the first game. The duo combined on a block for the game's first point and a side-out to set the tone of the match.
Murphy and Sullivan "were so big and agile, we could not get it over them," Teel said. "We couldn't even dink it over them."
Sullivan and Murphy then sandwiched a kill each around an ace by teammate Erin Gessner, a senior setter, as the Vikings sprinted out to a 4-0 lead.
After Brentsville junior Susan Miles scored on a kill, Sullivan showed what she could do on the back row, diving to the floor on two occasions for one-handed digs to keep the Vikings in the points. Sullivan had three of her seven total digs on one point that ended when sophomore Kristen Carlson's kill gave Loudoun Valley a 5-1 lead.
Sullivan "did well in the first game on the back row, saving us on several plays," said Loudoun Valley Coach Carmel Keilty, whose team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday in the final at the Waynesboro tournament, to Waynesboro--8-15, 8-15, 15-8.
Loudoun Valley scored 10 of the next 12 points Monday to put the first game away.
The second game proved to be almost a mirror image of the first, but with a lot more thunderous kills by Murphy and Sullivan.
Junior Laura Goodness aced Brentsville twice during the opening four points by Loudoun Valley, as the Vikings reeled off a 12-0 lead.
The last point in that run was off a block by Murphy on Brentsville senior Christy Lapihuska's attempted kill.
"The blocks definitely get everyone pumped up," Murphy said.
Gessner ended with 11 assists, 10 service points and eight digs. Murphy and Sullivan had seven and four kills, respectively. Goodness led the team in digs (with nine) and service points (11).
"I thought all six players were all pretty critical," Keilty said. "Every kid is contributing, and they are all doing the job when they get on the court. . . . Everything is starting to click."
Said Sullivan: "I think we have the potential to go all the way, if we keep the focus."
Note: Miles led the Tigers with 10 digs and had a kill.
CAPTION: Christy Lapihuska (4) sends ball at Valerie Murphy of Loudoun Valley, which improved its record to 10-1.
CAPTION: Vikings' Sara Scandiffo, left, and Kelly Sullivan rise up to block shot by Christy Lapihuska of Brentsville during Loudoun Valley's 15-3, 15-2 win Monday.