Back-to-back champs

by Mackenzie Moughon - Posted on Nov 20, 2012 - 01:39 PM

Photo: Mathews High School volleyball coach Pat Moughon, her players and the fans all jump for joy after winning Friday’s VHSL semifinal game against Gate City. The Mathews girls went on to beat Stuarts Draft on Saturday to win the Group A, Division 2 state championship for the second consecutive year. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Mathews High School volleyball coach Pat Moughon, her players and the fans all jump for joy after winning Friday’s VHSL semifinal game against Gate City. The Mathews girls went on to beat Stuarts Draft on Saturday to win the Group A, Division 2 state championship for the second consecutive year. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Photo: Mackenzie Moughon (#11) returns the ball in Friday’s Gate City game, with Shelby Ware (#10), Maddie McCann (#9) and Hannah Rowe (#21) backing her up. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Mackenzie Moughon (#11) returns the ball in Friday’s Gate City game, with Shelby Ware (#10), Maddie McCann (#9) and Hannah Rowe (#21) backing her up. Photo by Charlie Koenig

The Mathews High School volleyball team, which had already entered the school’s record books last year as the first female team to win a state championship, secured its spot in the annals of MHS history on Saturday by repeating as the Virginia Group A, Division 2 champions.

The path to this second consecutive state championship wasn’t an easy one, as the Lady Devils had to battle back from a 2-1 deficit in Saturday afternoon’s finals, winning the final three sets to defeat a determined Stuarts Draft team for the crown. To get to that point, Mathews had another battle on its hands, defeating Gate City in Friday’s semifinals, 3-1.

Mathews was supported by a large contingent of fans who made the trip to VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond on both days to root their Lady Devils on to victory.

The Siegel Center was familiar territory for the MHS girls, who have made it to the VHSL Final Four for each of the past four years. Mathews earned its most recent trip to the Final Four with the Nov. 13 quarterfinal win over Goochland. Once back in the Richmond gym, 14 young ladies didn’t waste any time going to work against Gate City, taking the first set 25-17.

Mathews then fell to Gate City, 22-25, after committing a few too many errors, but the MHS girls didn’t let it get to them. As set three got underway, the Mathews Blue Devils proved why they were defending a state title by overpowering Gate City, 25-10. After flexing its muscles, Gate City was shaken up and no longer posed a threat to Mathews as the Devils took them down, 25-15, to send them to the state finals for the third year in a row.