It's been quite a week for Osbourn Park's eighth-ranked volleyball team. And the smiles on the players' faces following Tuesday night's 3-1 victory at No. 9 Fauquier -- which gave the Yellow Jackets a two-game lead in the AAA Cedar Run District race with only three regular-season matches remaining -- told only part of the story.
It was the dancing and cheering and hugging and picture taking that simply couldn't be mistaken. This team, after posting back-to-back wins over the weekend against Richmond area powerhouses Mills Godwin and Douglas Freeman and knocking off Fauquier on its home floor, is exuding confidence.
"Playing -- and beating -- Douglas Freeman was a really big deal," said senior captain Ashley Ferry. "I can't tell you how happy we were just around school on Monday. We still feel fired up."
The enthusiasm translated onto the court Tuesday night in Warrenton. Osbourn Park (14-3, 7-0) got to seemingly every loose ball, served with precision and power, wisely tipped to open spots on the floor, worked their blocks well against Fauquier's outside hitters, dug up hard-hit balls by Falcon junior standout Paige Brunsink and, more than once, delivered blistering shots of their own in return.
And, most important, when Fauquier (14-2, 5-2) rallied for a third-game victory and led the Yellow Jackets 23-22 in the fourth game, they did not panic. Three straight service points by junior Leslie Crowe -- including an ace on match point -- sealed the win.
"We've definitely worked through some of the mental errors we had earlier in the season," Osbourn Park Coach Kate Southcott said. "And you can just see our confidence growing."