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Jackson, Warriors Edge Colonials in Five Games
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Sep 14, 2012, 16:10

Colonial Heights’ Blake Branzelle (right) hits cross court in a Central District match against Matoaca on Thursday in Chesterfield. The Colonials won in five games (photo by Jacob Vaughan).


CHESTERFIELD – The Colonial Heights girls volleyball team hit the road on Thursday with hopes of avenging a five-set loss to Matoaca in last year’s Central District tournament championship. And for a while, it appeared the Colonials would be successful.

Instead, the reigning regular season champions went home with a second helping of heartbreak.

The Warriors rallied from a six-point deficit late in the fourth game and prevailed in the fifth to claim a 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 15-25, 25-23, 15-13) victory in Chesterfield.

Just as she was in last year’s title game, Jaelyn Jackson was at the forefront for Matoaca. The junior tallied a match-high 23 kills and four blocks, but Colonial Heights coach Toni Martin said unforced errors were what hurt her team the most.

“We beat ourselves,” Martin said. “We missed more serves tonight than we’ve ever missed. We didn’t hit the ball hard and we did things that we shouldn’t have done.”

Leading 22-16 late in the fourth game, the Colonials seemed destined for a come-from-behind victory. But the Warriors closed with a 9-1 run that forced a fifth frame and shifted the momentum firmly in their favor.

“Them finding something in themselves at 22-16 late in the fourth game,” said Matoaca coach Warren Pruett. “That was the turning point for the whole match.”

Somewhat stymied in the first three games by the Colonials’ duo of Krista Williams and Kayla Boyd, Jackson came alive down the stretch.

She connected on her final eight kill attempts and punctuated her performance with a pair of authoritative kills to seal the win. Pruett said Jackson, who was named Central District player of the year as a sophomore, has become a more multi-faceted force this year.

“She’s not only contributing as an attacker,” Pruett said. “She’s also passing for me now. She’s playing on the back row and playing defense. As she goes, so goes the team.”

Boyd led the Colonials with 15 kills, 15 digs and six aces while Williams added six blocks, five kills and six aces. Savannah Couch played the role of provider with 28 assists for Colonial Heights.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Momentum knows no loyalty in high school volleyball.

That much was evident on Thursday as the visiting Colonial Heights boys volleyball team overcame a two-set deficit en route to a 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-10) Central District win over Matoaca.

“That was two very good teams playing great volleyball,” said Colonial Heights coach Mark Lee. “All the games were close. We just got the momentum in the third game and kept it.”

Kyle Hogwood paced the Colonials with 11 kills and four blocks while Doug Jackson and Ryan Battle combined for 16 kills and 12 blocks.

For Matoaca, Aaron Green posted a match-high 22 kills and Brandon Harper added a staggering 46 assists, but the Warriors were undone by slow start in the final game.

With the win, Colonial Heights improved to 2-0 in the Central District (3-1 overall). Matoaca fell to 0-2 in district play, 2-4 overall.

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