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Elation, then disappointment for PV girls

South Boston News
Kaylee Coker (14) and Deaona Watkins (8), a pair of sophomores, block a Lady Bulldog kill attempt during the first round of the VHSL Class 3 State Tournament.(Steve Hinzman photo) / November 20, 2019

The Park View volleyball season came to an impressive but disappointing end Saturday as the girls fell to Goochland High School, three games to none, in the first round of the VHSL State Class 3 tournament.

The PV girls entered the state tournament as runners-up in the Class 3A Region, having fallen to Tabb High School in the region tournament final on Nov. 12. The Lady Dragons had already qualified for the state tournament by winning their regional semifinal game over Lakeland High School on Nov. 11 in South Hill.

As Region A runnersup, the Lady Dragons were destined to travel to Goochland on Saturday night to face the Region B champion Lady Bulldogs. On paper, it appeared to be two evenly matched teams on the court, but the Lady Bulldogs took advantage of some Park View mistakes and used the home court advantage to sweep the Lady Dragons and end their season.

“We let our nerves get the best of us,” said coach Beth Callahan, named the Tri-Rivers District coach of the year. “Overall it was a great season. We have some things to work on during the off-season but we look forward to having another successful season next year.

“Many returners and promising additions to add next season. We would like to thank all of our fans and team supporters,” she added.

Park View vs. Lakeland

Having defeated the Lafayette Lady Rams in the opening round of the East region championships the week prior, the Lady Dragons hosted the Lady Cavaliers of Lakeland High on Nov. 11 and were able to defeat them relatively easily. The Lady Dragons sent Lakeland home with a 3-0 loss.

In game one, PV won 25-13 after holding the lead from the opening serve. In game two, the Lady Dragons vaulted out to a 20-12 lead before going on to win 25-14. Game three saw the Lady Cavs keep the game a little closer until Park View went on a 10-point scoring run en route to a 25-14 victory.

The win guaranteed the Lady Dragons a trip to the state championships as the worst they could finish in the regional tourney was second. The top two teams in each region tournament go to the state tournament.

Leading the Dragons were: Courtlyn Hawkins 14 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces, Kaylee Coker 6 kills, 1 block, Deaona Watkins 3 kills, 2 blocks, 3 aces, Cambra Graham 3 kills, 3 aces, Erin Bailey 13 assists.

Park View vs. Tabb

On Nov. 12, the Tabb Lady Tigers visited PVHS for the Class 3 East Region final. Tabb has a long and distinguished history in girls’ volleyball and they were destined to add a chapter with this match. The Lady Dragons gave the Tigers a tussle but in the end the Tabb girls escaped with a 3-1 victory to take the region title.

Game one was a competitive affair with both teams exchanging points from the beginning. The Lady Dragons fell behind early but then managed to take a 6-5 lead. Tabb eked out a two-point lead before Park View’s Cambra Graham slammed a kill to the floor with authority to cut the margin to one, 9-8.

After that, Tabb went on a minor run, going ahead 17-11, but the Lady Dragons kept up the pressure and narrowed the lead to one, 19-18, before Tabb put on a mighty push with six quick points to win game one, 25-19.

Game two belonged to Tabb as the Lady Dragons seemed powerless to stop the onslaught. The Lady Tigers won the second game decisively, 25-15.

Game three saw the Dragons get back some of the fire that had gotten them this far. Park View leapt out to a 7-2 lead, which Tabb cut to two points before PV pushed the lead back to four, 14-10. Then after a dramatic long rally punctuated by great plays on both sides of the net, the Dragon girls took a 19-17 lead.

Park View rallied for a 24-20 advantage and appeared on the verge of victory, but the Lady Tigers had other ideas. Tabb put up three straight points to narrow the gap to 24-23, but the Lady Dragons regained their footing and took the game, 25-23.

In game four, it appeared Park View had run out of gas as the Lady Tigers took a commanding 10-0 lead on the way to a dominating 25-11 win to take the match and the championship.

Stats for PV: Courtlyn Hawkins 11 kills, 2 blocks, Deaona Watkins 11 kills, 2 blocks, Kaylee Coker 5 kills 5 blocks, Cambra Graham 3 kills, Erin Bailey 3 kills, 9 assists, Carson Wall 3 aces, 12 assists.

Park View vs. Goochland

With the loss in the region championship game, the Lady Dragons were relegated to runner-up status and traveled to Goochland to face off against the Lady Bulldogs (Region B champions) Saturday night.

The Lady Dragons never found a rhythm and the Lady Bulldogs defeated them soundly in three straight games.

In games one and two, there was little positive for the Lady Dragons as they fell 25-12 and 25-8, in that order. Game three was a competitive affair with Park View hanging tough before falling 25-21.

Thus ended the 2019 PV Lady Dragons volleyball season, and what a season it was. A brief recap of the Dragon girls’ exploits:

Park View finished the 2019 regular season undefeated in the Tri-Rivers District, earning the regular season title. The Lady Dragons went on to defeat the Southampton Lady Indians to take the Tri-Rivers District Tournament title.

Park View head coach Beth Callahan was named Tri-Rivers District Coach of the Year and Courtlyn Hawkins, a junior, was named district Player of the Year.

Park View went two for three in the Class 3 East Regional tournament and earned a trip to the VHSL state tournament for the second straight year. The Lady Dragons will lose just three seniors and while their experience, talent and leadership will be sorely missed, the crop of underclassmen bodes well for the 2020 season.

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