Radford matched up well with Union on the front line and took control early on its way to a 25-14, 25-22, 25-19 win over the Lady Bears in a VHSL Class 2 semifinal volleyball match at Union.
Behind Charli Dietz’s 12 kills, the Lady Bobcats used a strong, balanced attack up front to earn a berth in Friday’s state championship match. Radford (24-1) will play Poquoson (17-6) for the title at the Salem Civic Center.
Poquoson defeated Madison County 16-25, 16-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-13 in Tuesday’s other Class 2 semifinal.
CONTROLLING THE NET
Dietz and her teammates took control of the match early by building a 12-4 lead in the first set.
The quick advantage was important for the Lady Bobcats, their coach said.
“Our biggest goal out here was to serve really aggressively and to use our offense to put them out of system. Because we know when they’re in system and they’ve got the perfect pass, their hitters are just dynamite. They’re really, really strong,” Karen Adams said. “We’re used to being that (strong-hitting) team, so it was a little different for us. We had to play a little bit of a different game.
“I’m just really, really proud of my girls for making the trip out here and playing so well. It was an amazing crowd for Union. We don’t even get this many people. It was exciting.”
Emma Minnick finished with 22 assists, eight digs and four service aces for the Lady Bobcats.
TOUGH NIGHT FOR THE BEARS
Union (23-5), which got a match-high 16 kills from Emili Brooks, struggled to find its place at the net.
“I don’t think we were able to move the ball as well as we wanted,” said Union coach Kim Moore. “We had to set the ball outside a lot to the left front, simply because we couldn’t get passes up and they could sit on us out there.”
Moore was hit with a rare yellow card in the third set after questioning a call. After the match, she said there is statewide inconsistency with the interpretation of the two-touch call.
“I think a clear issue is inconsistency across the state in officiating,” she said. “Here, we haven’t had a two-touch call called all year and we get to the final four and it’s called multiple times, which is an inconsistent call and that’s why a yellow card. I think we need consistency across the state in how we officiate and I don’t know how that’s accomplished.”
Nevertheless, Moore was very complimentary of the Lady Bobcats.
“Radford has an excellent team. I hope they go and win it all now and represent this side of the state,” she said. “They’ve got a good team. They’re solid. And, like I said, I’d like to see them win it all.
“I’m just disappointed for our team. It got us out of our game a little bit.”
Zoe Brooks had 31 assists for Union, and Audrey Gilliam had 17 digs.