For the first time in its three-year history, Colgan High School has a regional team champion.
The host Sharks outlasted W.T. Woodson Wednesday night 3-2 in the 6A Occoquan Region championship with a 15-10 win in the final frame.
In fitting fashion, Colgan waited until the last set to clinch the victory as they improved to 7-0 in matches that go five games.
“That’s insane,” Sharks head coach Keith Mesa said. “I’ve never seen anything like that or been involved with something like that. But the girls feel comfortable. This team has a toughness and they do not give up.”
With the win, Colgan improved to 25-3. The Sharks will host a state quarterfinal Saturday against 6A Northern Region runner-up Westfield.
Region player of the Madison Bower led the Sharks with 27 kills and four blocks. First-team all-region selection Hannah Crawley added 15 kills and 12 seconds, second-team all-region pick Testimony Garrison recorded nine kills and 11 digs and Kristin Lough tallied 60 assists.
Colgan’s title was another reminder how far this team has come since fielding its first varsity team when the school opened in 2016. That season, the Sharks went 8-13 and lost in the first round of the district tournament.
Last season, Colgan improved to 19-7 overall and 12-0 in the Cardinal District.
This season, the Sharks have not lost since competing in a Labor Day Tournament.
In the fifth game Wednesday, W.T. Woodson scored the first two points before Colgan recorded the next three points. From that point on, the Sharks never trailed and extended their lead to as many as six points.
W.T. Woodson got within four twice, but never closer.
“I know I’m not going to decide it anymore,” Mesa said. “They are going to decide. Our kids make good decisions.”
Colgan lost the first game 28-26 before winning the next two each by scores of 25-17. Woodson won the fourth game 25-16.
“They don’t get down on themselves,” Mesa said. “They grind it out and find a way.”