RICHMOND, Va. — Defending state champion Mathews rolled to an impressive 25-17, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15 win over Gate City in the VHSL Group A, Division 2 volleyball semifinals on Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center.
“It was a good match,” said Gate City coach Amy Reed. “Unfortunately, someone had to lose and it was us.”
After dropping the opening game, Gate City (30-3) rallied to even the match with a 25-22 win. But it was all Mathews the rest of the way.
“We just mentally struggled with our serve and receive,” Reed said. “They weren’t overpowering on their serve, just very smart.
“They put the ball in play and we didn’t make good returns. Coming in we knew that would be a big part of the match, we just didn’t make the adjustments.”
Gate City’s blockers did a good job controlling the Mathews’ hitters, but couldn’t totally stop them.
“When we would take the line away from them, they’d go down the middle,” Reed noted. “Then we cover the middle and they would go for the lines.
“Mathews is a good team. They have smart hitters.
“We gave them too many free balls,” she added.
Making it to the Final Four was the only consolation for the Region D champion Lady Blue Devils.
“When you get this far, it’s about making plays,” Reed said. “You need a great deal of passion and fight.
“Mathews made more plays and we made more mistakes. It was that simple.”
Kaitlyn Whitt led Gate City with 38 assists and 10 digs. Mary Whitt added 19 digs and Hayley Wolfe 13. Erica Fugate tallied 14 kills, Sydnee Snapp had 10 and Santana Bishop got seven.
“I hate this for our seniors,” Reed said. “They’ve had a good run, but tonight they just came up short.”