Hylton volleyball earns regional tournament berth

WOODBRIDGE — In their previous two meetings this season, Hylton and Woodbridge split: each team winning on the road. One match went four games, the other five.

So there wasn’t much doubt that a three-game win by either team wouldn’t happen Tuesday night.

As expected, the recent history held form, as Hylton needed four games to beat Woodbridge in the Cardinal District semifinals on the Bulldogs’ home floor. After the Vikings took the first game 15-11, Hylton rebounded to win the final three games 15-13, 15-7, and 15-6.

The win not only secured a spot in the finals for the Bulldogs, it also ensured them a spot in the Northwest Region Tournament, which begins next week. Hylton will face Forest Park, which beat Gar-Field in the early game on Tuesday, in the district final at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The turning point of the match came in the second game. Down 13-6, the Bulldogs scored nine unanswered points to tie the match at 1-1.

The Vikings hadn’t been behind the entire game. But after a Woodbridge player hit the net making the score 13-7 — the tide began to shift.

By the time the score reached 13-12, things were fully in the direction of Hylton. After a volley that sent the ball to the Bulldogs’ side, Woodbridge was fine on its first two hits but mishandled the third.

Two points later, the second game — and all of the momentum — was with Hylton.

The momentum didn’t necessarily carry over to the third game. The teams were tied as late as 4-4, but Hylton began to take over. The Bulldogs’ Jasmine Byrd scored on an ace to give Hylton a 5-4 lead, one which the Bulldogs would not relinquish.

A strong spike by Tanya Wyatt gave Hylton a 11-7 lead, and the Bulldogs later closed out the game on a kill that landed near the back line.

Wyatt got another point on a spike that sailed across the court but stayed inbounds. That kill gave the Bulldogs a 5-1 advantage in the fourth game. And though the Vikings got as close as three points at 7-4, Hylton proved too strong.

FOREST PARK 3, GAR-FIELD 1: Defending champion Forest Park advanced to the Cardinal District finals with a 17-15, 15-2, 14-16, 15-6 win over the Indians.

The Bruins’ Abby Hatter recorded 19 kills on the night and teammate Marisa Gross wasn’t far behind with 18 kills. Ali Krieger and Megan Gross added six kills each.

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