The Commonwealth title match is on.
After dispatching Brooke Point in a sweep on the road Tuesday night, Albemarle will now face district nemesis Colonial Forge in a regular season title playoff tiebreaker Monday night at Orange County High at 7 p.m.
Jessica Block led all servers with 17 service points and four aces, while Stephanie Strauss chipped in with 12 service points and two aces. Megan Napolitano and Strauss shared hitting honors with 11 kills each while Strauss also led her team with three blocks. Napolitano also paced the Patriots with seven digs while Sarah Terlesky had six on the night. Block recorded 21 assists on the night.
In game one, the score was tied at 10 until Block gave the Patriots a little breathing room with a three-point service run after a side-out. A number of Albemarle miscues kept the Black Hawks in it, but the Patriots eventually prevailed, 25-19.
Game two was a carbon copy of set 1 except for some minor twists. The Patriots scored the first two points of the set and nursed a one or two point lead until the Black Hawks made a four point run to go up 12-8. However, the Patriots sided out and put the ball in Block’s capable hands as she reeled off five straight service points to put the Patriots up 14-12. Brooke Point immediately regained the lead on their next run at the service line and went up 15-14. The Patriots sided out to tie the score, and closed out the set with three straight runs of two points each.
In set 3, Brooke Point came out determined to make some noise as they raced to a 9-3 lead. The Patriots gathered themselves on the next side out and a six-point service run by Stephanie Strauss propelled Patriots back in front, 10-9. The Black Hawks tried to respond late in that game, but the net play of Stephanie Strauss and Megan Napolitano combined with the defensive effort by Sarah Terlesky to keep them at bay. The Patriots took set 2, 25-22.
With the win, the Patriots (16-7, 12-2) are now deadlocked in a tie for first place in the district with Colonial Forge. The two teams split the regular season series. Twice before in the last five years this scenario has played out, with Colonial Forge winning in 2006 and 2007.