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.