W-L volleyball defense

Washington-Liberty's Abigail Kant, Mina Oizumi and Alyssa Dozier anticipate the serve during a recent match. (Photo by Deb Kolt).

The Washington-Liberty Generals understandably were disappointed about losing in the 2020-21 championship match of the 6D North Region Tournament girls volleyball tournament, and not successfully defending their title.

The Generals won the first set, 25-22, then lost the next three for a 3-1 setback to the host Langley Saxons (11-1) in the April 16 high-school final. 

The Generals, then, realized what they had accomplished this season and last, when W-L won its first region crown in 2019 and qualified for the Virginia High School League state tournament for the initial time. This season, Washington-Liberty started slowly, as it regrouped after graduating key starters from that 2019 squad.

The Generals (9-6) lost four straight matches in mid-March, then got hot and played their best in the region playoffs, finishing 3-1. Three of the losses were to Langley, twice in two close regular-season meetings.

In winning the 2019 region crown, Washington-Liberty served notice by defeating perennial power Langley,        3-1, in a semifinal showdon, coming just a few days after topping the Saxons,     3-2, in the Liberty District Tournament final.

So the teams were familiar opponents. The April 16, 2021, meeting in the region final was the seventh between the squads in two seasons.

Each team reached the region final with hard-earned 3-2 semifinal victories April 14. Langley nipped the visiting Chantilly Chargers, and Washington-Liberty downed the host Marshall Statesmen after losing two of the first three sets. In first-round region action, Washington-Liberty blanked Westfield, 3-0, then topped Oakton, 3-1, in the quarterfinals..

The Generals won seven of their last nine matches behind the play of Eleanor Watson, Spencer McCarthy-Womeldorf, Keira Taylor, Eleanor Watson, Alyssa Dozier, Grace Danaceau, Mina Oizumi, Abigail Kant,  Lucy Downs and others.

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