James River’s Lilli Clevenger (right) got her 1,000th assist in the regional tournament against Dan River. Here she’s presented the ball by coach Dave McGee.

The James River volleyball team will travel to Marion Saturday to open play in the state Class 2A tournament at 7 p.m. River is the Region C runner-up and Marion is the Region D champion.

Radford is the Region C champ and will host Region D runner-up Union. The Bobcats won the Region C championship by upsetting the top two seeds. Radford beat top-seeded Appomattox in the semifinals, then stunned second seeded James River in Springwood in three sets on Saturday. River had beaten Radford twice during the regular season.

If James River can win Saturday they’ll play the Radford-Union winner on Tuesday of next week. The state championship match is at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on Saturday, November 18.

Bailey Marshall handles the ball for James River during regional action.
Photo by Brian Hoffman

River comes into the state tournament with a 22-6 overall record. The Knights beat Dan River in three sets in the Region C quarterfinal at River last Tuesday, then held off a game Giles team in a marathon semifinal on Thursday. That was also in Springwood, and a trip to the state tournament was at stake.

Giles won the first set, 26-24, but River tied it by taking the second, 25-20. Giles then jumped on top again in the third, 25-17, but River finished strong, winning the next two, 25-20 and 15-10. Linsey Bailey had 31 kills in the match and Anna Schroeder had 24 digs.

On Saturday the Knights hosted a red hot Radford team and the visiting Bobcats surprised the hosts with a 25-17, 25-22 and 25-23 win. Linsey Bailey had 17 kills for River and Bailey Marshall had 11.