It was another tough one to swallow,
Grafton High School made it to the state volleyball championship game for the third time in four years, and like the previous two times, lost to Loudoun County, which won its fourth straight state championship.
The Raiders from Leesburg, beat Grafton 3-0 this time a the Siegel Center.
In game one, Grafton quickly fell behind 4-0, but rallied to tie at five. The Clippers gradually faded and fell, 25-16. Loudoun County's strong play at the net led them to the win.
In game two, the Clippers had a brief lead, but the Raiders came back to grab a 10-4 advantage. They built the lead to 20-10, but Grafton battled back to trail, 21-15. But the strong Northern Virginia school won, 25-18.
Game three was another battle. The Clippers scrapped and clawed and stayed close early, but the Raiders had too much and pulled away to win, 25-16, taking the match, 3-0.
Grafton coach Dena Montini said "It was the most frustrating game I have ever had as a player or coach. When the team plays at a high level and then reverts back to elementary mistakes, it is tough. This is a very intimidating situation for us. We really get out of our routine here. We tried to prepare the kids for the tournament, but we were just not ready. We did not have the right mentality. We were our own worst enemy. We probably performed at about 30% of what we are capable of playing. We served to the player we wanted to avoid and made other mistakes.
Montini said her team never was afraid to play Loudoun County.
Several players had outstanding efforts for the Clippers. Alyssa Hall had 12 kills and two blocks, Morgan Kline had nine kills and a block. Britt Sorenson had four kills, Monica Meharg had two kills and Kendall Mahony added a kill.
Jenna Strange led the Raiders with nine kills. Sammy Dormio had six kills for the winners.
Grafton finished the season with a 25-3 record. The seniors won a total of 100 matches during their high school careers. Eight of Grafton's 14 players return next season as it will be "wait till next year" for the Clippers.
Loudoun County won the sportsmanship award.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun