First Colonial never panicked during Tuesday’s 6A Conference 1 semifinals volleyball game against Ocean Lakes at Tallwood High.
The Patriots lost the first set handily, 25-17, and went down 2-1 after a 25-15 loss in the third set. But First Colonial relied on their ace, Rowan Ennis, and she delivered.
The senior’s 26 kills, highlighted by her six kills in the deciding fifth set, carried First Colonial past Ocean Lakes 3-2 (17-25, 25-14, 15-25, 25-18, 15-9) and into the conference finals against Kellam. The win gives the Patriots an automatic berth in the 6A South Region tournament.
Ennis’ ability to play solid defense allows her to rotate all the way through and hit from the back row. That turned out to be a facet of the game the Dolphins had no answer for.
Patriots setter Ariana Davies-Hackenberg finished with 25 assists, 23 of which went to Ennis.
The Dolphins struggled with inconsistency all night.
Whenever junior middle Danielle Hart rotated out to the bench, the Dolphins were severely outplayed at the net by Ennis. Many uncharacteristic mistakes in their three set losses led to unearned Patriots points.
Hart led Ocean Lakes with 18 kills and four blocks. Dolphins setter Alisi Motu’apuaka registered 42 assists, while Taylor Allbritten and Liv Crawley each had nine kills.