The early-season showdown between volleyball stalwarts Hidden Valley and Roanoke Catholic ended last Wednesday night with the Titans’ superior height being the deciding factor in Hidden Valley’s 3-0 victory.
A packed Roanoke Catholic gym looked on to see if the Celtics, coached by former Hidden Valley assistant Aaron King, could keep pace with the perennial Group AA powerhouse Titans.
Roanoke Catholic came into the match with plenty of credentials itself, having already taken down Northside and AAA Patrick Henry, along with a pair of wins over Group A Division-1 defending state champs Bath County.
The match was dominated by the taller Titans, who controlled the pace from the outset on their way to the 25-10; 25-13; 25-16 win. Hidden Valley had its A-game going from the opening serve.
“We played really well tonight,” Hidden Valley head coach Carla Poff noted afterward. “It was a total team effort.”
Titan 6’2″ senior Caroline Boone launched 15 kills past the Celtics, while junior teammate Madison Morris rejected five Catholic shots.
Hannah Podeschi set the Titan front line in motion all night with 30 assists, and senior Jenny Clark controlled the back line, bringing up 10 digs and firing six service aces.
Mairin Guilfoyle led the Celtic attack with 7 kills, while Ava Perez added six. Perez also contributed 15 assists, with junior Anne Deer keeping busy by posting 15 digs against the relentless Titan barrage.
“It’s tough to match up with Hidden Valley’s height,” King pointed out after the match. “Plus, they have such a good defense. One good thing- we get right back with a match tomorrow night, so we can move on.”
King’s message rang true as the Celtics plastered Chatham Hall 25-6; 25-13; 25-9.
– Story and Photo by Bill Turner