This week the Bishops played the last of their regular season contests and ushered in their respective conference tournaments.
On Monday, the Field Hockey team had a 2-1 win over Chatham Hall. The Bishops’ ability to keep their composer in the tight game served them well. The win marked the end of regular season game play and the beginning of the Blue Ridge Conference tournament. For the second time in the week, the field hockey team found themselves matched up against the Purple Turtles from Chatham Hall. While the first matchup of the week was quite a nail-bitter, the focus and intensity the Bishops brought to each play of the game led to a much more definitive win. With goals scored by senior Lily Hurt and junior Marian Laing, the final buzzer sounded on the 2-0 win. This win in the first round of the BRC conference tournament earned them a bid in the conference finals for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, the players from Covenant had a few good breaks and bested the Bishops 2-0.
The boys on JV and Varsity soccer concluded their seasons this week. On Tuesday, JV took the field against Fork Union and walked away with a 1-0 win. Charlie Dodson ‘21 scored the lone goal of the match. The team played strong defensively and dominated possession with precise passes. The win was a great way to end their season. On the same day, the Varsity squad took the field against a strong North Cross team. Despite the excellent teamwork and hustle that the team has continued to exhibit all year, the Bishops couldn’t quite hold on and ended their season with a loss.
Varsity volleyball started their sweek with a home match against Roanoke Catholic for the first conference playoff match. For the seniors, it marked the last time they would be playing in Van Every Field House, so there was a particularly bittersweet feel as they stepped onto the court. The night ended with a 3-1 win, but it was a battle. After winning set one, 25-4, the Bishops lost set two against the very scrappy Celts team, who refused to give up. Sets three and four were battles; however, despite the close scores after the first set, the girls demonstrated composure and enthusiasm, without giving in to frustration. With this win, the girls advanced to the semifinals of the BRC tournament against New Covenant, just down the road. This was set to be a huge match for the team, as the Bishops went to five sets and lost a nail biter of a game, 18-16, in the matchup earlier in the season. The girls were eager for a rematch. Unfortunately, the Bishops couldn’t hang on for the win, but once again some stunning volleyball was played. Serves from Eme Clause ‘20 left the gryphon backline confused and led the bishops on several scoring runs and Ariel Mial ‘19 was a threat from every spot on the court. Even when the Gryphons went up 2-0 in the match the Bishops continued to play aggressively, bringing them the win in the third set. Only after an hour and a half of high intensity play, did the Gryphons take the fourth set, the final of the match. This loss ended the squads run in the BRC tournament. While Varsity volleyball was putting in work in Lynchburg, the JV squad was doing the same at Eastern Mennonite. Against the tough Eastern Mennonite opposition, the Bishops just couldn’t quite hold on. In the first set, the Bishops kept it tight, only losing by two points, but the Flames took the momentum and ran with it and finished the match in the next set.
Varsity tennis––who ended the regular season with an undefeated record of 10-0––had a by week in the first round of the BRC tournament. While they eagerly awaited to see outcomes of Tuesday’s first round of matches, the team was named the WSET TV High School Team of the week. On Thursday, the Varsity squad was back in action as the #1 seed in the tournament. The Bishops rolled to a convincing 9-0 win over Chatham Hall to extend their perfect season to 11-0. The win meant they were set to take on North Cross in the Finals at home on Saturday. The last two years North Cross edged the Bishops in Roanoke, to then go on to win the VISAA State Championship. This year the Raiders had to travel to VES, since we beat them 6-0 earlier this season. The Bishops went on to accomplished a major feat for this year—following up regular-season perfect record with winning the Blue Ridge Conference Championship. The championship match included thrilling, but convincing victories for Hundley Burger ’20, Bebe Brogan ’19, Carly Chafin ’21, Katey Thomson ’19 and Sally Curme ’19 at #1, 3, 4, 5, & 6. Galyah Ghajar ’21, at #2, went to a tie-breaker against her opponent, but this time came up on the short end. Carly’s match was the “clincher” to secure that necessary 5th win. Individual BRC awards were numerous, including BRC Player of the Year Hundley Burger, and a well-deserved “Coach of the Year” for Anna McWane. All-tournament players were Hundley, Katey and Carly. All-conference nods went to Bebe, Bebe, Hundley and Galyah. The team now stands at 12-0—the best record among D-2 schools in Virginia—and will host a to-be-determined opponent at the VES Craighill Tennis Center on Tuesday, November 6 for the VISAA D-2 State Quarter-finals.
JV Tennis concluded their season with a perfect 6-0 record, traveling to Chatham Hall on Tuesday for their final match. The top 7 singles players (scoring 6 and an exhibition match) secured the win by clearing the board: Lilly Lewis ‘22 8-0, Walker Rose ‘22 8-0, Sarah Bennett Smith ‘20 8-2, Alida Tang ‘20 8-4, Elizabeth Cox ‘21 8-3, Janys Li ‘22 8-1, and Isabel Rhodes ‘21 8-0. Special shout-outs to Lilly, Elizabeth, & Janys who completed their singles campaigns undefeated. As the afternoon wore on and the sun moved to a less blinding position, the doubles took the courts against the Chatham Hall starters: Veterans Carlisle Watts ‘21 and Liza Green ‘21 extended their two year undefeated streak in doubles by winning at #1 8-0. Newcomers Katharine Caprise ‘22 and Charlotte King ‘22 followed in their teammates’ footsteps by at winning at #3 8-3. Landis Thompson ‘20 and Megan Foster ‘20 (hobbled by Megan’s sore wrist) chose to play on instead of conceding, and dropped the only match to the Purple Turtles.
Due to weather concerns for Friday, the home football game versus the Hampton Roads Navigators was pushed up to Thursday afternoon. From the first kickoff of the game, the Bishops set the tone with their intensity. In the first half alone, the Bishops’ defense caused and recovered two Navigator fumbles, both were converted for touchdowns in the next play. The grit and determination of the team earned them a 62-12 win and puts them at 5-1 for the regular season.
Saturday started with a small ceremony recognizing the hard work and dedication of six seniors: James Cook, Helen Ma, Joseph Stanley, Joseph Sterne, Sunny Sun, and Maddie Walker and ended with boys cross country earning their first-ever VIC team title on Saturday with a resounding win over cross-country powerhouse The Covenant School (Charlottesville, VA). The Bishops relied on gritty performances by their entire varsity squad to emerge atop the 10-team conference. Daniel O’Brien ’20 cruised to his third consecutive individual conference title on the hilly, rain-slicked 5K course. His time of 15:53 was more than 1 minute and 10 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Row Sterne ’21, Josh Buckley ’20, Colin Walsh ’22 and Joseph Sterne ’19 gutted out some of the season’s best performances and held off challengers in the final mile to seal the historic win. Daniel, Row, Colin and Josh earned All-Conference for their efforts. John Tharp ’21, Hardt Lesko ’21 and James Cook ’19 shared in the win. Despite a season of injuries and other setbacks, the VES girls managed a respectable 7th place team finish in the BRC. Ann Claire Terrell ’21 placed 12th, narrowly missing All-Conference honors. She was followed by Samantha Dodson ’22, Lillian Pang ’21, Helen Ma ’19, Maddie Walker ’19 and Mia Hindermann ’22. A total of nine runners had personal bests despite the conditions. Also congratulations to Coach Jen Anderson who picked up her fourth consecutive Coach of the Year Honor in the VIC/BRC. The team heads to Fork Union Military Academy on November 9 for the VISAA State Cross Country Championship.