Two good hitters plus one talented libero equaled a loss for Rapphannock’s Lady Panthers in the Region B tournament match last Thursday (Nov. 11). The William Campbell Generals charged their way to victory on their home court with a 3-0 win.
The final Panther match reflected “the trend of the season,” according to coach Jackie Tederick. “We couldn’t get a pass up to run our system. They had two dominant hitters, in addition to their perfect serve-receive. This wasn’t a team you could give a free ball to. They fed those balls to the big hitters on their front row all night.”
Senior setter Lauren Settle echoed coach Tederick’s views and added, “We beat ourselves by letting balls drop. We couldn’t get passes up to the 10-foot line for the setter, and our serve-receive was atrocious.”
Hanna Kopjanski, senior hitter, broke down the timeline of the match. “When we got to their locker room, half our team was pumped to play. The other half had bus lag, I guess. Once on the court, we just didn’t look like we were ready to play. In our first set, we went back to our old ways — like we did with Strasburg. WC got a couple of kills at the start, and we couldn’t come back. Towards the end of the set, we decided to play and got our 10 points.
“Second set was the same old-same old. We couldn’t get our blocks up. We kept not communicating and letting balls drop. When the third set came around, we were even with them all along. Somehow we still looked like we were losing. We stuck with them until near the end. We sold ourselves short. “We all cried and wished we could go back and start over. Just weren’t on that night — off balance.”
Both Settle and Kopjanski offered reflections on their senior seasons. “It was a memorable season,” Settle said. “We all became really close. From August to November, we spent nearly every weekday together. This season was a good way to start my senior year as an athlete.”
Kopjanski said, “I never thought we would make it this far. Maybe we were intimidated by William Campbell, but I still had a great senior season. We had a lot of laughs and memories. It ended strong.”