Appomattox’s Kaydence Gilbert continued her stellar senior season Thursday night. Her 14 kills in the Raiders’ 3-0 sweep of William Campbell pushed her to 830 career kills, a new school record.
Entering Thursday’s match, Gilbert needed 12 kills to tie the previous record of 828 set in 2005 by Amanda Lewandowski. She got that and more to take over the top spot on the program leaderboard and help Appomattox finish the regular season with a perfect 20-0 mark.
Gilbert’s 261 kills this season have helped Appomattox sweep 16 of 20 opponents and win five straight matches by 3-0 scores. ACHS now has gone undefeated in the regular season in each of the last three campaigns.
Gilbert and the Raiders will start postseason play next week. They get a first-round bye for the Region 2C tournament.
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VES advances to BRAC finals
Virginia Episcopal won five of its singles matches and added two doubles victories to cruise to a victory over Covenant in the Blue Ridge Athletic Conference semifinals Thursday at VES.
The triumph sends the Bishops (9-6) into the BRAC finals at North Cross (13-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Raiders, who defeated New Covenant 6-0 in Thursday’s other semifinal, swept VES in the regular season with 5-4 victories on Sept. 27 and Oct. 5.
Blair Gill, Sierra Lewis, Hannah Sayer, Elle Langley and Nikitha Prabhu won singles matches for VES on Thursday.
Liberty 3, Jacksonville 0
There was no secret to why Liberty won the ASUN Conference regular-season title: the Flames dominated possession, rattled off shot after shot on goal and didn’t let goalkeeper Ainsley Leja face many shots at all.
It was a recipe worth repeating to open the league tournament Thursday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.
McKinley Burkett’s header less than two minutes in gave the top-seeded Flames (13-3-3) the lead for good. Saydie Holland added two second-half goals, and a dominating performance was more than enough to defeat the eighth-seeded Dolphins (6-5-5) in the quarterfinal round.
Liberty hosts fifth-seeded Eastern Kentucky (9-7-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday in the semifinal round. The Colonels defeated fourth-seeded Kennesaw State (7-9-3) by a 1-0 score on the strength of Maddy Lemery’s goal in the 24th minute.
The winner of Sunday’s semifinal advances to the Nov. 4 title game, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the highest remaining seed.
The Flames did not lose in their 10 league regular-season matches (8-0-2) and extended their program-record unbeaten streak to 11 matches with Thursday’s triumph.
Liberty has not lost since its nonconference finale at Pittsburgh on Sept. 11, a 3-2 setback, and the Flames allowed only three goals in league play.
Leja, the ASUN goalkeeper of the year, did not face a shot on goal by the Jacksonville attack for her 10th shutout of the season.
That was a trend that developed in league play. Liberty outshot its opponent 199-55 in the regular season and held a 17-1 edge in shots against JU.
Leja was not the only one honored by the conference for the Flames’ season.
Lang Wedemeyer was named the ASUN coach of the year for the second time in three seasons. Leja was joined on the all-conference first team by Burkett, Bridie Herman and Rachel DeRuby. Holland, Rebekah Earnest, Ivy Garner and Halle Engle were named to the second team, and Lena James garnered third-team honors.