Upset on the Road: Western volleyball rallies to knock off Rockbridge

Western Albemarle’s volleyball team’s season was on the line, down two games to a Rockbridge team that knows how to close after winning two straight Region 3C championships. 


The Warriors were unfazed. 


Westeren roared back to win game three, four and five and take the match 3-2 over Rockbridge in the Region 3C quarterfinals, advancing to within a game of the state tournament. Western will face No. 2 seed Rustburg — who dispatched Fluvanna 3-1 Tuesday — on Thursday night with a state tournament bid on the line. 


Western Albemarle’s Katie Carter blasted 19 kills on the night to lead a potent Western offense that also got 12 kills from Brooke Chavez and another 11 kills from Caity Driver.  Annabella Pandelli triggered the offense with 38 assists at setter. Bella Plummer and Driver each had 2.5 blocks. Amber Parker finished with 32 digs and Sarah Rhea had 13 while Annabella Pandelli chipped in three aces.


After dropping games one and two 25-12 and 25-13, Western got in gear and edged Rockbridge 25-23 in game three, then forced a fifth game with a 25-22 win in game four. In game five the Warriors jumped out to a 7-1 lead. Rockbridge responded and closed to gap to one with Western up 11-10. The Warriors promptly ripped off a 4-1 run to end it and advance to the region semis.


Western will face Rustburg Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Region 3C semifinals.