The Princess Anne girls made volleyball look easy in their 3-0 home sweep (25-14, 25-13, 25-12) of Menchville in Tuesday’s 5A South Region semifinals.
In the state-qualifying match, the Cavaliers (27-2) picked apart the Monarchs (24-3) in every phase of the game. Princess Anne won each set with different strengths.
The first set featured eight Cavaliers recording kills. Princess Anne’s offense was humming from the opening whistle, rarely committing personal errors. Cavaliers setter Alyssa Presto (27 assists, four aces, two kills) fooled the Menchville defense by constantly moving the ball to different spots of the floor — setting up hitters at the net and in the back row.
Chika Osuchukwu led a versatile Cavaliers offense with 10 kills and one block. Abby Bottomley, the Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, played her typical do-it-all game, finishing with seven kills, seven aces and two assists. Addie Blackwell (five kills), Jayna Franics (four kills) and Peyton Washington (four kills) added to a seemingly flawless rotating front-court.
“It’s nice when you have extra weapons,” Cavaliers head coach Craig Dooren said. “When we’re playing a fast tempo, that caused issues for them.”
The Cavaliers didn’t have much offense going in the second set, but they didn’t need to — their serving handled business.
Four players combined for eight aces in the second frame, led by Bottomley’s three. Senior setter Spencer Rizzo and Ashley Burgess (four aces) each had two, while Presto added one.
Menchville’s serve-receive defense had trouble identifying whether a jump or float serve was coming and what to do with each one.
“We’re a pretty good, aggressive serving team,” Dooren said. “And we’re tough to defend because they don’t know who’s going to get set, or where the ball’s going.”
The Cavaliers will play Mills Godwin at home Thursday in the 5A South Region finals.
A Princess Anne win will earn them a home game in the state semifinals.
“We want to stay home,” Dooren said. “In front of this crowd, no doubt about it.”