Albemarle High nearly found a way to slip into another Commonwealth District final, but the Patriots couldn’t eek out a five-set match with No.1-seeded North Stafford Tuesday night, falling 3-2 in the district semifinals.
Albemarle’s inexperienced squad isn’t done yet though. Albemarle hits the road to face Riverbend Thursday in what amounts to a Northwest Region tournament play-in game. The winner moves on to the region tournament to face the No. 2 seed out of the Western Valley district.
Albemarle dropped the first game 25-20, but bounced back with a 24-12 lopsided win in game two to even the match. A strong stretch from Colleen Marshall helped secure the victory.
The third game was pivotal to the match’s outcome, and both teams came out very aware of the stakes. After a see-saw start, North Stafford picked up a 25-19 win.
The Patriots refused to go quietly though and built a slim margin late in game three on a Michalea Malboeuf service run before closing out a 25-22 win.
Albemarle couldn’t build on the momentum in game five though as North Stafford jumped out to a 5-1 lead and Albemarle could never break back. On the night, Savannah Morse led all hitters with 11 kills, while Sarah Woods and Chelsea Woodfolk chipped in with 10 and nine kills respectively. Jessica Block had 27 assists, while Taylor Bauman led all passers with a 1.96 rating.