A wildly young Albemarle squad that’s been through a roller-coaster of a season may have finally found its groove.
It certainly appeared that way in the 3-2 brawl with traditional Commonwealth District heavyweight Colonial Forge that Albemarle won Tuesday night. The Patriots rallied from two games down to beat the Eagles.
Albemarle finally got a balanced set of offensive production out of its youthful front line as Sarah Woods led the attack with 15 kills while Savannah Morse and Chelsea Woodfolk had 13 kills each. It was the first time all year more than one Albemarle hitter has notched double-digit kills. Woodfolk exploded in her first outing as a right-side hitter and transformed the offense in the effort.
Anna Buhle further bolstered the offensive effort with a nine-kill outing. Jessica Block dished out 48 assists and notched three aces.
Albemarle fell in the opening game and Colonial Forge put them in a deeper hole after the second game with a second straight 25-21 victory. The two squads put together a classic game three with Albemarle edging the Eagles 29-27.
The already high intensity ratcheted up a notch in the fourth game when Buhle emerged as a threat and Albemarle evened the match with a 25-23 victory.
In the decisive fifth game, the Patriots jumped out early on a side out and three consecutive service points, including a pair of aces, by Block. The Patriots maintained a two-point edge as Sarah Woods nailed consecutive attacks down the line for winners within a three-point span and that allowed the Patriots to edge forward for a 14-12 lead until a net violation brought the Eagles to within one at 14-13. On the next touch though, the Colonial Forge server hit the ball into the net, setting off an eruption and a pile of bodies on the Patriot side of the court.
The Patriots ended the regular season with a 9-7 district record and travel to Massaponax on Thursday for a quarterfinal district tournament match at 6 p.m.