After a season of firsts, the Colonial Forge volleyball team ran out of steam in its first state quarterfinal appearance.
A furious comeback fell short last night as the Eagles' season ended with a 22-25, 25-16, 25-15, 23-25, 15-8 loss to visiting Kellam in a Virginia AAA quarterfinal in Stafford.
Colonial Forge (21-6) had swept the Commonwealth District regular season and tournament titles as well as the Northwestern Region championship for the first time in school history. But last night's loss snapped the Eagles' 15-match winning streak. Their starting lineup had only one senior, and their setter, Sarah Frohnapfel, is a freshman.
"The accomplishments they've achieved this season have been great," Coach Keith Mesa said. "At some point it becomes shocking. You figure out where you are, and nerves start to get you a little bit. I thought nerves were a little bit a part of this match. It's disappointing, but to have such a great season, today won't affect things."
After winning the first game, Colonial Forge was dominated by Kellam for two games, especially after Colonial Forge junior Emily Frohnapfel was sidelined with a badly sprained left ankle late in the third game.
But with a spirited comeback, the Eagles rallied for a tough fourth-game win. The Eagles led 17-10 in the game, but Kellam rallied, to tie the game at 20. The score was tied at 23 when senior Abby Mertz made a block at the net and Sarah Frohnapfel (37 assists) made a clever tip over the net to clinch the game and force a fifth.
The comeback fell short as Kellam, led by talented setter Maggie Hayden and powerful hitter Keira Peoples, pulled away for the fifth-game win. Sophomore Emily Mohrman had a team-high 11 kills for Colonial Forge.
Kellam (20-6), the Eastern Region runner-up from Virginia Beach, had beaten Colonial Forge in an early-September tournament in Richmond. Since then, Colonial Forge had become a force, capped by a regional championship victory over favorite Osbourn Park.
"They've improved tremendously since we last saw them," Kellam Coach Scott Cambra said. "We knew they had coming into this, because they had beaten Osbourn Park."