“The feeling never changes,” senior outside hitter Jillian Warter said.
The Raiders (27-2), who posted a 25-14, 25-12, 25-14 win, left little doubt on their way to the 13th title in program history.
“When they get a team down, they don’t allow hope,” Loudoun County Coach John Senchak said of his team. “When you’re down to the Raiders, you’re going to lose.”
Senior setters Hannah Prendergast and Chandler Vaughan carried Loudoun County’s offense, with the captains playing the full rotation and hitting on the right side. Vaughan set up Prendergast for 11 kills; Prendergast primarily dealt assists to sophomore outside hitter Sarah Jordan (14 kills).
Vaughan’s efforts (26 digs, six aces) allowed the Raiders to regain momentum in the third set after Grafton (24-4) claimed an early lead. Overall, Loudoun County served 12 aces to keep the pressure on.
“This is a really good Loudoun team,” Grafton Coach David Keeter said. “I mean, they touched every single ball. Their blockers were active. Their hitters were active. We would’ve had to put a complete game together to beat them.”
Vaughan said the Raiders’ goals were to get the Clippers out of their system and to hit the deep corners, both of which they achieved. They also relied on their fast offense.
“We have really good setters who can set us no matter where we are,” senior middle hitter Olivia Mallow said. “And that speed is really what drove us through these tough matches recently.”
The Raiders’ depth has been a theme during their dominant run over the past eight years, and this season was no different with six experienced seniors rotating into action. Although the championship win followed many others, Senchak said this one still felt sweeter.
“They know the weight of 13 years of great volleyball players at Loudoun County High School,” he said. “It’s their weight to carry, and they’re going to pass it on again.”