Leesburg, Va. — After officially clinching the Dulles District regular season title with a 3-2 win over Loudoun Valley on October 7, the Loudoun County High School volleyball team once again proved why they’re the team to beat in the Commonwealth, dominating No. 3 Dominion—25-15, 25-8, 25-10—on October 12 in Leesburg.
“This team is really special, and we played as a cohesive team tonight,” Loudoun County senior setter Hanna Mullan said. “That was important against a good opponent like Dominion, because we proved to ourselves that if we play together, we can really do this.”
Early in the first set, both teams battled for control before the Captains claimed a small 8-5 lead forcing a Dominion timeout.
The Titans used that timeout to their advantage, rallying off four straight points to take a 9-8 lead, but the Captains had an answer, jumping out to a 16-10 lead then extending the lead to 22-14, before capping of the first set, 25-15.
Leading 5-4 in the second set, Loudoun County turned the ball over to Mullan at the service line. Mullan bounced the ball four or five times, spun it in her hands as she approached the line, and served it over the net: ace.
Following her first serve of the set, Mullan went on to serve the Captains’ next six points forcing a Dominion timeout.
“I was trying my best to move the serve a lot,” Mullan said. “It was just working tonight.”
Coming out of the timeout, Mullan successfully served the next six Loudoun County points before her 14th serve hit the net and fell short. When all was said and done, Mullan scored 13 consecutive service points and put the Captains up 18-5. That lead only grew from there as Loudoun County claimed the second set, 25-8.
“She serves hard and low to the tape,” Loudoun County head coach John Senchak said. “There’s not a lot of movement on her serves, so you don’t get that third dimension look, and it’s on you before you know it.”
Much like they did in the second set, the Captains forced the issue early in the third set and cruised to a 25-10 win to cap off their straight set sweep on senior night, during which they honored their eight seniors—Morgan Appel, Mairenn Blest, Delaney Brosan, Kenly Howerter, Sarah Jordan, Mullan, Bella Sierra, and Audrey Stroupe.
“There are so many great personalities in this senior class and so many great stories. All the girls here just refuse to lose,” Senchak said. “They still have a lot of season left in them, so we’re going to ride these eight seniors as far as they can take us.”
Over the last four years, the Class of 2022 has already helped Loudoun County put together an 89-6 record, four Dulles District regular season titles, three Dulles District tournament championships, three VHSL Region 4C titles, and three VHSL 4A State titles. And much like over the better part of the last two decades, the Captains have their sights set on the grand prize.
“We have powerful players, and they like the power game, but there are some teams that can take the power game away, so we have to focus on being smart as well as powerful,” Senchak said. “Every defense will give us something, and down the stretch, we have to take what they’re giving us.”