Osbourn Park sophomore Lea Brady hadn’t faced W.T. Woodson in the regular season prior to Tuesday’s 6A North volleyball region quarterfinal, and all she knew of the Cavaliers was that outside hitter Eliza Fisher was a southpaw who packed a lot of power.
Brady was positioned to attempt to contain Fisher and for the most part she did her job, posting a game-high 10 blocks. Her defense was a catyalyst for the Yellow Jackets’ five-set defeat of Woodson, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-9.
The Yellow Jackets (21-8) will face Madison on the road in the semifinals of the 6A North region semifinals.
Without seeing any tape, Brady prepared for Fisher as she would any other left-handed outside hitter. She blocked inward knowing that lefties tend to hit across, but it didn’t help her nerves coming into the match.
“I didn’t know what they were going to look like from the stories I heard of how tough of a team they were,” Brady said. “Once it got down to business though, we all just pushed through.”
Osbourn Park took a 6-2 lead in the first set, forcing a Woodson timeout. The Cavaliers (19-5) charged back and pulled within 10-8, but could never get in a steady rhythm before eventually losing the set.
Fisher was quiet in the first set, posting just two kills. But in the second set she displayed the power that has her atop the kills list in the area. Fisher slammed 10 of her match-high 25 kills in the second set as the Cavaliers tied it.
The lead changed hands three times in the third set before the Yellow Jackets won narrowly. Osbourn Park outscored the Cavaliers 13-8 to close the set after trailing 15-12.
Neither team could get a solid grasp in the fourth set, but the Cavaliers played desperately to force the decisive final set.
The Yellow Jackets jumped to a 5-1 lead in the fifth with Brady scoring off a block followed by a kill. Woodson called a timeout to regroup, but the Yellow Jackets weren’t going to be denied at home. They pushed the lead to 11-5 and held on advance to Thursday’s semifinal.
“Last year we got to this point in regionals and we lost,” junior outside hitter Megan Onyundo [11 kills] said. “We wanted to win this time and not experience that heartbreak. We want to go to states, that was us our goal to begin the season.
Note: In other 6A North action from around the area, Langley defeated Chantilly, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-21, and South County defeated Patriot, 25-11, 25-19, 25-23. Langley will travel to South County on Thursday in the 6A North region semifinal. Madison won in straight sets over Robinson, 25-16, 25-11, 25-21.