By Kyle Gotimer
LoCoSports Managing Editor
Richmond (November 24, 2015) – The best team in Leesburg, the best team in Loudoun and the best team in Virginia: the undisputed champion of champions. Loudoun County High School’s varsity volleyball team traveled to VCU to take on Jamestown High School for a chance to win their fourth straight state title. The Lady Raiders defeated the Eagles, 3-1, in the VHSL 4A state title game (25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18) to reassure the state of Virginia that they are indeed the best of the best.
“Winning a state championship never gets old,” Loudoun County head coach Sherrilyn Hanna said. “Each championship has required a ton of hard work and dedication, and it is the best feeling to end a long, hard-fought season with a win in the state title match.”
The Lady Raiders were dominant throughout the season – as usual – finishing the season 24-2 including a 9-1 record in Conference 21B.
“Our class has been a part of a state championship each year. I’m so proud of the legacy we are leaving behind for the next group of Raiders to hopefully continue,” senior middle blocker Abby Wright said. “Each year was a new team with different struggles, but this year, at least to me, was the most stressful.”
Led by senior hitter Taylor Borup, Loudoun County rose to the occasion to defeat Jamestown in the first set 25-20. Borup has been a huge key for Loudoun County’s success over the last four years.
“Taylor has led the team in kills in three of those four seasons and holds several program records. She was a 6-rotation player her junior and senior years,” Hanna said. “She has been invaluable to the success of Loudoun County volleyball, bringing a high level of experience and knowledge to the team. Her teammates look to her for leadership on and off the court and, as good of a player as she is, Taylor is an even better teammate.”
After winning three consecutive state titles, the Lady Raiders dropped the second set 22-25 — evening the score heading into the third set. But the Raiders didn’t lose faith.
“This year’s senior class has worked hard on building team dynamics. This is the youngest team we’ve ever had, and it was important to build camaraderie and trust,” senior hitter Rachel Voketaitis said. “Because many of the girls are young, I’m super excited to see where LCHS volleyball is headed because there is so much talent left.”
Loudoun County powered back in the third set, and, with their 25-20 win, took a one set lead.
“It feels indescribable! I love that I get to share my last state title with this year’s team,” Borup said.
After a 25-18 win in the fourth set, the Lady Raiders graduating class of 2016 stepped up to receive their state champions trophy. Seniors Borup, Voketaitis and Wright — along with senior hitter Lauren Topper and setter Logan Robberstad — completed the four-year journey with four conference titles, four region titles and four state titles.
“It feels amazing to have won yet another state championship for LCHS,” Voketaitis said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have kept the legacy going all of my years at Loudoun County, and I fully appreciate this unique experience.”