The Fauquier volleyball team's record-breaking season ended quickly in today's Virginia AA final, as the Falcons fell to Region III champion Cave Spring, 15-0, 15-3, at Broadway High.
The Knights played nearly flawlessly, painting the lines, digging Fauquier's heavy hitters and ending the match in less than 30 minutes. Fauquier, which had won six straight matches, struggled to establish offensive flow less than 24 hours after dismantling two-time defending state champion Loudoun Valley.
"I don't know who that team was, I just don't," said Fauquier junior setter Nicole Galvydis, whose team captured its first region title and advanced to its first state championship match this season. "I was looking around, and it was like a bunch of strangers.
"It just wasn't our day."
Cave Spring (29-0), a Group AAA school last season, became the second undefeated AA state champion in three years. Loudoun Valley was 25-0 in 2001. Regions II and III have captured 12 straight AA volleyball titles; the two regions monopolized all four semifinal spots this year.
The Knights, who also were appearing in their first state final, faced a match point in their semifinal victory over William Byrd on Friday night, but recovered for an 11-15, 16-14, 15-3 win. Cave Spring's dominance in that final game continued today, when the Knights hit more than 95 percent of their serves and gave the Falcons (19-9) just one opening.
Fauquier took a 2-0 lead in the second game, but four straight errors gave Cave Spring the lead, and the Knights sprinted to victory. Fauquier seniors Lindsey Davis, Barbara Downes, Blair St. Onge and Ashley Young each had averaged between six and eight kills over the Falcons' past five matches; against Cave Spring, they were limited to a combined 12.
"I don't know what happened," St. Onge said. "It was just one of our bad games, and it happened to be in the state finals."
However, the Falcons still found reason to smile after the match. Despite a midseason four-match losing streak, a district final that was canceled because of snow and a weather-induced, daylong regional tournament, they managed to advance farther than any previous Fauquier team.
"This last game was disappointing, but the season as a whole, we have to be proud of that," Downes said. "We made history for this team."
Fauquier Coach Diana Story said: "They were one of the final two teams in the state of Virginia. They have nothing to be ashamed of."
Today's A and AA finals marked the end of winter volleyball in Virginia. Next year, those groups will join AAA schools in playing fall volleyball and likely will move to a three-games-out-of-five format.