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Magic season ends for spikers

What has been the best-ever season for Halifax County High School volleyball has come to an end.

Facing Thomas Jefferson High School of Science & Technology in a 5A North Region Tournament quarterfinal match Tuesday night in Fairfax, the Comets lost 3-0, putting an end to what has been a stellar season.

“I told the girls I was proud of them for their season,” said Comets Head Coach Tiffaney Bratton.

“We’ve done something the school has never done in its volleyball history. They have that to be proud of. Unfortunately, in sports, you’re only as good as your last game.”

The Comets’ last match of the season was not up to par with those that had preceded it.

“Fundamentally, we fell apart,” Bratton pointed out.

“It was the age-old thing of going to Northern Virginia and expecting them (Thomas Jefferson High School) to be better than us. That wasn’t the case. We should have competed much better against that team. We just didn’t do anything fundamentally that we had done to get us to this point.”

Halifax County High School got off to a tough start, with Thomas Jefferson High School opening the first game of the best-of-five-game match with a string of 10 unanswered points and chalking up a 25-8 win.

The Comets lost the second and third games by identical 25-20 scores after having matched Thomas Jefferson High School point for point for much of both games. 

Halifax County High School led a good portion of both the second game and the third game, and held a lead of as much as five points at one time in the second game.

In both games, Thomas Jefferson High School surged late and went on to the seal the win.

White said that when Thomas Jefferson High School made a surge in both the second and third games, the Comets lost focus of the fundamentals. 

“It was obvious that it was the mental thing, the traveling for four hours to go to Northern Virginia, getting to a large city and having it in your mind that, ‘oh God, we’re in Northern Virginia,’” Bratton pointed out.

“The girls were doing things that, quite frankly, I had never seen some of them do, like letting balls drop, second-guessing themselves, not calling for the ball, not talking. 

“We didn’t cover the court,” Bratton continued, “and we didn’t pass the ball well. We even made service errors. It was fundamental things that made it look like we had never played together before.”

Bratton pointed out that Thomas Jefferson High School has a good team, but not an overpowering team.

“I don’t take anything away from them (Thomas Jefferson High School) at all,” Bratton remarked.

“But, they were certainly not a better team than us. It was nothing that they did that was spectacular, it was just the fact we didn’t do what we had done all season to get to where we are.”

 

Comets statistical leaders

Attacks: Gabby Spainhour 22 Whitney White 17 Taylor Barnes 12 Cecilie Elliott 7 Chris Bradshaw 7

Kills: Spainhour 5, White 3, Elliott 3, Barnes 2, Bradshaw 1

Good Serves: Elliott 14, White 8, Bradshaw 8

Aces: Elliott 3, Bradshaw 1, Spainhour 1

Good Passes: Bradshaw 19, Barnes 5, Maddie Jackson 3, Megan Puckett 3 

Blocks: White 3 Spainhour 2 Bradshaw 1.