RICHMOND — When Gate City's Lindsey Harper smashed the final kill of the match, it was the shot heard all the way across Virginia.
Harper's 11th kill on the day sent the Lady Blue Devils to a 25-18, 25-18, 25-23 win over Luray in the VHSL Class 2A volleyball final at the Siegel Center on Saturday.
"I could feel the whole team behind me on that kill," Harper said. "It is such a great feeling to win. We've worked so hard all year to reach this point."
The ending was all the more satisfying because Gate City (30-2) had to rally from a 23-21 deficit in the third set. Luray (22-2) was trying to force a fourth set, but the Lady Blue Devils came back to score the final four points, with Harper making the last two kills to seal the deal.
This marked Gate City's fifth state championship since 2004. The Lady Devils also brought home gold trophies in 2004, '05, '08 and '09.
"Each win has been sweet," said Gate City coach Amy Reed. "But each one is with a different group of players so that makes each one special.
"Each and every player on this team stepped up to make this happen. They all came together."
Luray coach Julie Moore gave praise where praise was due.
"Gate City has a very good team," Moore said. "They moved the ball better and quicker than we could respond to. And their size was a big problem for us."
With no seniors in the lineup, Gate City seems destined for continued greatness.
"Next year will be another story," Reed cautioned. "We can't rest on what we accomplished today. We'll get right back to work. If you want to compete at this level there can be no days off from trying to improve.
"And I still think this team can get better. We have high goals and expectations."
Kyra Jessee led the Lady Blue Devils with 15 kills and 10 digs. Kerri Hite dished out 34 assists and Hayley Wolfe had 16 digs. Caitlin McConnell had 13 digs and seven kills.
Haley Reed added 14 digs, 12 assists and five kills for Gate City. Julie Dockery chipped in eight kills and two massive blocks.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our electronic edition.