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ArlingtonLangley, W-L meet for region volleyball title

Langley, W-L meet for region volleyball title

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The Washington-Liberty Generals have the chance to repeat as region volleyball champions.

But it won’t be easy.

The Generals (9-5) face the multi-time champion and host Langley Saxons (10-1) in the April 16 girls high-school title match of the 6D North Region Tournament.

Langley, which won its last of five region crowns in 2017, defeated W-L by 3-1 and 3-2 scores in two regular-season matches. Langley also won its second of two state titles in 2017.

Washington-Liberty has won just the one region crown and played in the state tournament just in the 2019 campaign.

The winner of the region final advances to the four-team Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament.

Each team reached the region final with hard-earned 3-2 semifinal victories April 14. Langley nipped the visiting Chantilly Chargers, and Washington-Liberty downed the host Marshall Statesmen.

Langley trailed 12-10 in the deciding fifth set, and won 15-13.

Chantilly handed Langley its only defeat during the regular season.

“We stepped up when we had to and we had a good mindset in the match,” Langley coach Susan Shifflett said.

So far, Washington-Liberty is 3-0 in the tournament with a 3-0 first-round victory over Westfield, then a 3-1 quarterfinal triumph over Oakton.

Langley had a first-round bye and topped Madison, 3-0, in the quarterfinals.

In winning the 2019 region title, Washington-Liberty defeated Langley, 3-1, in a semifinal match, after a few days earlier topping the Saxons, 3-2, in the Liberty District Tournament final.

So the teams are familiar opponents. The April 16 meeting will be the seventh between the squads in two seasons.

“We will have to keep our unforced errors down in the final and communicate a little better than we did against Chantilly,” Shifflett said.

Washington-Liberty graduated five key seniors from that 2019 unit, but has regrouped well this season, especially after losing three straight matches in mid-March. The Generals have won seven of eight since those defeats behind the play of Eleanor Watson, Spencer McCarthy-Womeldorf, Keira Taylor, Eleanor Watson, Alyssa Dozier, Grace Danaceau, Mina Oizumi, Abigail Kant,  Lucy Downs and others.

For Langley, Ceren Mert, Ijenna Mere, Abby Stewart, Ameila Kim, Lauren Sung, Erica Maebius and Nina Kernan are among top players.

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