In arguably the deepest district for volleyball in the Virginia AAA Northern Region, teams such as Centreville get tested every match. Last night at Westfield, facing a powerful Bulldogs program was just the thing for the Wildcats, who were coming off a rare loss the week before to Herndon.
Centreville was up for the challenge, and after stumbling a bit in the first game, the Wildcats' depth, precision passing and overall teamwork led to a satisfying 22-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14 victory over their neighborhood rival. With the victory, Centreville (12-2, 9-1) clinched the top seed for next week's Concorde District tournament and guaranteed itself a spot in the following week's regional tournament.
The Wildcats, who have reached the state tournament in each of the past five years, trailed only once in Games 2 through 4 last night.
"Last year, we had a little losing streak in the middle of the season, but we got over it," Centreville senior outside hitter Jenny Brugger said. "We knew losing last week was not a big deal. And we knew it would make us better."
Westfield (9-8, 5-5) won the district championship last year, but several key players from that team graduated last spring. Last night, the Bulldogs started three sophomores and had few players who began the season with significant varsity experience. Centreville, meantime, has a deep roster this fall, loaded with experienced seniors.
"Every season has a bump in the road," Centreville senior setter Lexi Wood said. "We know it's what you do after losses that proves what kind of team you are. We enjoy the competition in our district. Facing teams that tough all year prepares you well for the postseason."
Centreville Coach Ken Moser said last week's loss helped his team refocus.
"We know that to win we need everyone contributing," he said. "We have no superstars. But we do have experienced players, and having been a part of and watching our [program] as they come up, they know what it takes to win."
Westfield Coach Jim Bour said every match this year has helped his team get better.
"Our players are working and battling so hard," said Bour, whose team will host a district quarterfinal Monday before the semifinals move to Chantilly on Tuesday. "I keep telling them, it'll come."