Olivia Deepak, Kendall Gray, Weining Ding and Emma Figler were among the standouts for the Albemarle volleyball team Tuesday night during a 25-7, 25-6, 25-7 win over No. 8 seed William Fleming in the Region 5D quarterfinals.
The quartet of underclassmen combined for eight kills, five aces and a block as the top-seeded Patriots cruised to a three-set win.
“Hey, we’re moving on and that’s the objective here,” Albemarle coach Mark Ragland said. “It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net, you want to get a win so that you get to play the next match.”
William Fleming (4-15) entered Tuesday’s playoff game with just six healthy players, but the undermanned squad did its best to hang with Albemarle (24-3).
Tanique Valree had two kills in the first set as the Colonels jumped out to an early 2-1 lead.
That’s when the Patriots took over.
Adalee Lynch had six kills and five service points during a 15-4 run to put Albemarle in command.
Annabelle Townsend chipped in eight service points and a pair of aces and Deepak chipped in a pair of kills off the bench to give the Patriots a 25-7 win in the first set.
Ragland continued to juggle his starting lineup in the second set, rotating some younger players in the lineup to give them an opportunity to experience postseason action. The youngsters responded in a big way and the stage didn’t look too big for them.
Gray tallied three kills in the second set and Figler added two more to lead the team in hitting. Ding, who celebrated her birthday, also added two kills.
“It’s nice to see those kids get out there and get a chance to perform,” Ragland said. “They work so hard in practice and recently our schedule has been pretty tough, so they haven’t gotten a lot of playing time, but it was nice to get them in there tonight. I thought they were having a great time.”
Maya Winterhoff, a standout middle hitter, closed out the set with eight service points to give Albemarle a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was more of the same.
Deepak tallied four aces and Sophia Dawson added five points and two aces as the Patriots closed out the match in impressive fashion.
The production was impressive for Albemarle, which had nine players register kills in the victory. Nine different Patriots also had aces in the match as AHS extended its winning streak to 13 straight matches.
Albemarle advances to Thursday’s regional semifinal where they will host the winner of No. 4 Mountain View and No. 5 Stafford at 6 p.m. The Patriots played Mountain View in a tournament earlier in the season, but expects the game to be a good test.
The winner earns a trip to the regional final and also secures the all-important state tournament berth.
“We just have to keep telling ourselves we need to work hard so that we’re at the best level that we can be,” Ragland said. “We don’t know what the other side is going to look like. All we can control is our side of the net.”