After advancing to the VHSL Class 2 state volleyball quarterfinals last year, the Lady Bears are back in the state tournament.
Union (24-4), the Region 2D champions, will host Region 2C runner-up Giles (20-7) Saturday in the Class 2 state quarterfinals.
The match is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
TEAM ON A MISSION
The goal for the Lady Bears this season is a trip to Salem and a state championship.
“We’ve just got to step up and play,” said Union coach Kim Moore. “Giles is a good team and there’s great tradition there. We’ve got to play our game like we know we can play in order to be successful.”
Heading into the state quarterfinals, each team is going to be bringing its best, Moore said.
“There are no cupcakes left at this level. We have to be ready to play,” she said. “One of the biggest things we have to do is to be a little more relaxed. I think we’ve been a little tense at the start of our last couple of matches in the region. We just need to relax and play our game.”
BATTLE AT THE FRONT
Union’s front line has been a big part of its success story this season.
Moore knows Giles will challenge at the net.
Union will counter with one of the most effective one-two punches in the region on the front line.
Emili Brooks leads the attack with 458 kills on the season, averaging 16 per match.
Meghan Blagg enters Saturday’s action with 308 kills on the year, an average of 11 per match.
Zoe Brooks, who holds the school record for the most assists in a career, has 919 on the season, an average of 33 per match. She also has 166 digs on the season.
Libero Audrey Gilliam leads the defensive effort for Union with 417 digs on the season.
Gilliam has also received 541 serves on the season and has only been charged with 37 errors.
AROUND THE STATE
In Saturday’s other VHSL Class 2 quarterfinal match in Southwest Virginia, Region 2D runner-up Lebanon travels to face Region 2C champion Radford at Radford.
The bracket for the two state quarterfinal matches in the eastern part of the state on Saturday features Bruton and Madison County and George Mason at Poquoson.