- Last Updated on 09:17 AM 11/11/13
- BY Joe Chandler
For the first time in school history, the Halifax County High School volleyball team has won a regional tournament match.
Facing Mountain View High School Saturday afternoon at Halifax County Middle School, the Comets put their power game into play early and swept the Wildcats 3-0, taking the match by scores of 25-11, 25-17 and 25-13.
The Comets, the second seed from Conference 16, will face top-seeded Thomas Jefferson High School of Fairfax Tuesday at 7 p.m. In Fairfax in the second round of the 5A North Region Volleyball Tournament.
Comets junior Whitney White and senior Chris Bradshaw led the Comets power attack. White scored nine kills in 24 attacks and Bradshaw had 14 attacks and six kills. Gabby Spainhour had 20 attacks and three kills.
"I'm really proud of my team," said Bradshaw, who also had 11 good serves and 17 good passes.
"I think this is the best we've played so far."
The Comets came up short in Thursday night's 5A North Region Conference 16 Tournament championship match, losing 3-0 to Albemarle High School, the state's third-ranked Division 5 volleyball team.
However, the Comets rebounded nicely Saturday afternoon to win their opening-round match in the 5A North Region Tournament.
"I am very proud of these girls," said Comets Head Coach Tiffaney Bratton.
"They played their game like we have been telling them all season. If they play their game, they can compete with any team in the region. We now go to Fairfax on Tuesday, and if they keep that mindset, they should be alright."
The Comets' power game was hitting on all cylinders for most of Saturday afternoon's match against Mountain View High School.
White was a key figure at the net with her 24 attacks and nine kills and, defensively, she had five blocks.
"I just felt that if we could keep on hitting we could do it (win the match)," White remarked.
"There were tons of openings, and we just hit it (the ball) where they weren't. I just jumped way up in the air and tried to get the ball over the net. It worked because there were so many holes."
Bratton praised the effort of both White and Bradshaw.
"Whitney was finding holes," Bratton pointed out.
"Even though all teams key on her and put two blockers on her because she is 6-3, she is still finding holes, making blocks and hitting."
When White was occupied with Mountain View High School defenders, Bradshaw provided the needed second punch.
"Chris is about a foot shorter than Whitney, but she does an excellent job," Bratton said.
"She has a very good vertical leap. It surprises teams that she can jump as high as she can and with power."
The Wildcats showed good play at times, but were inconsistent. Halifax County led the first game 16-1, but the Wildcats started getting back on track before falling to the Comets 25-11.
Mountain View High School led most of the early part of the second game, and held an 11-8 lead over the Comets before the Comets got back in synch and took a 15-11 lead. The Wildcats kept the game close and trailed by only one point at 18-17 before the Comets regained control down the stretch to win 25-17.
Halifax County High School scored four unanswered points to start the third game, and never trailed enroute to the 25-13 win that sealed the match win.
"We saw some glimpses of what our girls can do," said Mountain View High School Head Coach Stacey Marsh.
"It just wasn't consistent enough. Halifax is a tough team, and we wish them the best."
Marsh said the Comets' power game gave her team, a physically smaller team, trouble.
"The girl in the middle, number 8 (White) had a lot going for her team," Marsh noted.
"She was able to get a lot of stuff at the net that we weren't able to."
Brittney Bullis led Mountain View High School, which entered Saturday's match with an 11-12 overall record, with 14 digs. Sarah Weisband and Kellen Cody had five kills each.