State-Bound: Goochland volleyball pulls away from William Monroe in region semis, clinches state berth

With Goochland’s season hanging in the balance Wednesday night in the Region 3B semifinals, senior Nova Wonderling stepped up in a huge way.


In the process, she helped vault Goochland to a 3-2 win and a Class 3 state tournament berth. 


Wonderling took control of game five against William Monroe with a service run that transformed a set that started off as a back-and-forth affair and into a Bulldog blowout, a decisive 15-6 win to close out the victory. 


Wonderling fhad three of her 13 total kills and three of her five aces on the night in game five, all in an 8-0 run that started with the score tied at 5-5. Wonderling also had 18 digs.


Wonderling’s impressive finish came after the two teams traded lopsided games to reach the 2-2 mark. William Monroe won game one 25-15 with Mae Hawins notching a pair of blocks while senior Mara Woolford had three kills and two aces in the frame. 


Goochland then bounced back and won game two 25-10, with Layla Ford notching two blocks and Laura Lee Baldwin finishing it off with a slick kill. Goochland then appeared set to take control of the match with a 25-16 win in game three, but Monroe refused to go quietly and won game four 25-15 to force game five. Back-to-back blocks form Hawins and Ella Weaver played a big role in building a lead for the Dragons in that frame and Hawkins notched another block late in the game.


Then Wonderling went to work in game five and kept Goochland’s season alive. Junior Nicole Brown finished with seven kills, nine digs and 27 assists. Ford had seven kills, three digs and two blocks while Blair Bussells had 21 digs and Marina Stratriou came up with nine assists. 


The Bulldogs face Warren County on the road Thursday in the Region 3B championship game before they head to the state tournament.