By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Oct. 21 — Just over three weeks ago, the Bulldogs traveled to Page County High School and swept the Panthers on their home court in three straight sets on Senior Night. On Thursday — while it may have taken one more set — Page County flipped the script and returned the favor.
“We had something to prove tonight,” PCHS head volleyball coach Ashley Henry said after Thursday’s game. “They swept us on our Senior Night…I told our team, put your hearts into it, and we’ll see what happens.”
The PCHS volleyball team won its third-straight match of the week on Thursday, after taking down Strasburg on two consecutive days — 3-1 on the road Monday, and 3-0 at home Tuesday. The Panthers (6-11) will conclude their regular season tonight at home against Rappahannock (7-11).
After starting the season at 11-4, Luray has dropped their last four matches — winning only two sets during that span. The Bulldogs (11-8) concluded their regular season against Page on Thursday and now await the pairings for the Region B tournament, which starts on Monday. Both Page and Luray will advance to the regional tournament, and both will likely be on the road for the opening quarterfinal round.
Thursday night’s rivalry game at Luray was no runaway — it was fought tooth-and-nail by both teams the entire way. Several volleys seem to go on for minutes as both teams dove for digs, fired monster spikes and played well as a team on both offense and defense.
In the first set, Page fell behind by as much as 16-8 before storming back to tie it up at 19-19. The battle for the first point of the match went back and forth and was tied at 20-20, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 before the Panthers earned the last two points to take a 25-23 win.
In the second set, Page jumped out to a 6-0 lead, before Luray won seven of the next eight points to tie the set at 7-7. The Panthers were then able to take a slight lead and maintain it all the way to a 25-21 win.
After a tough battle in the early going of the third set to tie 6-6, Luray took control and rolled to a 20-10 lead and an eventual 25-15 win.
The fourth and decisive set was again a back-and-forth battle that was tied eight different times, including the final moments at 22-22, 23-23 and 24-24. The Panthers would go on to win the last two points of the set to claim a 26-24 win, and the match (3-1).
Despite their struggles this season, Coach Henry feels her team is on a good streak and could surprise some opponents in the Region B tournament.
“When we show up, we can play well,” Coach Henry said.
To check schedules, rosters, results and standings for local high school sports,
see the Bull Run District website.