Westfield junior Catlin Goodman leapt from the floor and wrapped her 5-foot-10-inch frame around one person after another last night at Centreville High, too wired to do anything else after the second-ranked Bulldogs knocked off No.1 Loudoun Valley, 25-17, 25-22, 25-23, to advance to tomorrow's Virginia AAA Northern Region championship.
The Bulldogs' win snapped the Vikings' 55-match win streak that stretched back to the start of the 2004 season -- and propelled Westfield (23-2) into the state tournament. The Vikings finished 26-1.
"This is the best game we've ever played," said Goodman (16 kills), who combined with freshman Sammy Spees (21 kills) to dominate on the outside. "We all played together in a way we never have before. We knew we'd have to have our 'A' game to even compete with them and we brought it. It's overwhelming, really."
Westfield's abundant use of its outside hitters helped keep play away from 6-5 All-Met middle hitter Blair Brown, the Northern Region's Player of the Year. Brown still managed 17 offensive kills -- including more than one that dazzled even the large Westfield contingent -- but it was not enough to offset the all-around performance of the Bulldogs.
"I'm a coach who has always believed in Blair Brown, she's an amazing player," Westfield Coach Jim Bour said. "But what I told my girls is that sometimes a team can beat a big superstar. And that's what I felt happened tonight."
Bulldogs' Go-To Girl
Even with Centreville's large student cheering section on its feet and screaming throughout, there was no mistaking when Stone Bridge senior All-Met middle hitter Samantha Ingersoll wanted the ball last night in the second Virginia AAA Northern Region semifinal game.
"You got me, you got me!" Ingersoll would yell to setter Emily Hindman.
And she rarely missed.
Ingersoll, the only senior on Stone Bridge's roster, recorded a team-high 15 kills, 17 digs and 9 service points off her blistering jump serve in leading the No. 6 Bulldogs (22-2) to a 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the host Wildcats (13-11).
"I'm always wanting the ball," Ingersoll said. "And the more she hears me, the more likely she is to set me. But we've got plenty of other girls on this team who can get it done, too. There's that cliche about not being six players but being one team. That's us."
Stone Bridge indeed got exceptional play from junior hitters Elizabeth Leonhardt and Marianne Bell as well, and played stout defense to counter the savvy yet powerful play of Centreville setter Ryann Lowery and outside hitter Stephanie Leney.
Stone Bridge, in its first season of Class AAA play, will face Westfield at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Centreville to decide the regional championship before both teams move on to the state tournament.