Lions roar to district wins

The Louisa Lions volleyball team opened their Jefferson District play with a pair of wins, defeating the Charlottesville Black Knights and the Orange County Hornets before hosting non-district rival Chancellor.

Louisa traveled to Charlottesville on Sept. 10 for their district opener. The Lions made short work of the Black Knights, taking the game in straight sets, 25-11, 25-11, 25-9.

Sophomore Kylie Robinson led the offense with 10 kills and the defense with nine digs. Junior Brady Shifflett tallied eight aces for Louisa and freshman Jordan Atwell-Purcell followed right behind with seven.

“We kept the same mindset after each timeout and between each set – do it again,” Lions’ head coach Rachel Green said. “Our successes were great and we carried them on throughout the game.”

The Lions carried their momentum into their home game against Orange on Sept. 12. They fought their way to a 25-23 win in the opening set, but the Hornets had an answer, taking the second 25-22 to tie the game 1-1.  Louisa hit the gas in the third set for a 25-12 win, then held off the Hornets to take the fourth set 25-21.

Senior Olivia Grubbs led the Lions’ serving effort with seven aces, followed by Robinson, and sophomores Emma McGehee and Maddison Middlesworth with two apiece. Robinson again led in kills and digs, tallying nine and 16, respectively. McGehee added five kills, while Atwell-Purcell and Middlesworth contributed to the Lions’ defense with eight and seven digs, respectively.

“I was extremely proud of the effort the team put forth,” Green said. “We have so much individual talent on this young team and they are learning to pull together and depend on one another.”

The Lions were back in The Den on Sept. 16 to host the Chancellor Chargers. The Lions overcame an early Charger lead in the opening set, but the visiting team pulled ahead late to win 25-22. An early set two surge by the Chargers put them up 13-5, but the Lions slowly chipped away at the lead, pulling to 24-19 before Chancellor put it away. 

“This team is definitely a team that will battle anything,” Green said. “They don’t let any one match or set get them down and have always been fighters. Building on the blocks that Emma had really elevated them.”

The Lions were able to keep the score close throughout the third set, but a late 7-3 run gave Chancellor the advantage, 25-20. Grubbs led Louisa’s defense with 18 digs, followed by McGehee with 11. McGehee also tallied six kills and six blocks for the Lions.

The Lions continued Jefferson District play on Sept. 17 with a road game against the Monticello Mustangs. Results were unavailable at press time. They return to The Den on Sept. 24 for a home game against the Fluvanna Flucos. Varsity action begins at 6:30 p.m.