LB girls advance in state volleyball; state championship in Salem Saturday

The Lord Botetourt girls were one win away from a third straight trip to the state Class 3 volleyball championship game as the paper went to press. The state championship will be held at the Salem Civic Center on Saturday at 4 p.m.

LB was getting ready to play 23-4 Rustburg, the Class 3C champion, on Tuesday at LB in the state Class 3 semifinal. The winner of that match will play the winner of the other semifinal between Goochland and Tabb. If Botetourt and Tabb both won Tuesday it would be a rematch of last year’s state championship, won by Botetourt by a score of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-15 in Salem last fall.

Botetourt went into Tuesday’s match with a 29-0 record and not having lost a set all season. The two-time defending state champs were 92-1 over the past three seasons and 113-6 since the current senior class came in as freshmen.

The Class 1, 2 and 3 state championships will all be held at the Salem Civic Center on Saturday. The Class 1 match will open the festivities at noon, followed by Class 2 at 2 p.m. and Class 3 at 4 p.m.

Last week Botetourt defeated Hidden Valley in the Region 3D championship, earning the Cavaliers a home game in the state quarterfinal on Saturday against Fort Defiance. LB won both matches convincingly.

Against Hidden Valley the score was 25-20, 25-14 and 25-14. Senior Miette Veldman led LB with 24 kills and 14 digs. Ryanna Clark had nine kills and four blocks and Taylor Robertson had five kills, a dozen digs and four aces. Jordyn Kepler had 35 assists and seven digs and Kenleigh Gunter had 12 digs.

On Saturday Fort Defiance arrived in Daleville late after having bus trouble, then had trouble with the powerful LB attack as the Cavaliers pounded out a 25-12, 25-13, 25-11 win over the Class 3C runners-up. Veldman had 16 kills and seven digs as LB did away with the Indians in surgical efficiency.

Kepler, LB’s all-time assist leader, added 42 more to her career total along with seven digs. Clark had 12 kills and three serving aces while Robertson had six kills, 10 digs and three aces.

“The team played very well against Hidden Valley in the region final and in the state quarters against Fort Defiance,” said LB coach Julie Conner. “We are very excited to be back in the state tournament.”

After the regional the All-Region 3D team was announced and Miette Veldman was a repeat selection as Region Player of the Year. Also making first team were Kepler and Gunter and Robertson was a second team All-Region selection.

The All-Blue Ridge District team was also announced and Veldman also took Player of the Year honors for the district. Kepler, Gunter and Robertson made the first team and Clark made the second team.

Also, LB coach Julie Conner was named Coach of the Year for both Region 3D and the Blue Ridge District.

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