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Glen Allen finally seizes state title, downing Frank Cox in Class 6 boys volleyball final
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Glen Allen finally seizes state title, downing Frank Cox in Class 6 boys volleyball final

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Coach Kevin Hoy and the Glen Allen Jaguars had reached this stage before.

Three state volleyball championship appearances in a row. Three losses. Three times Hoy had to come up with words for his team after falling just short of their ultimate goal.

“I couldn’t have that speech a fourth year in a row,” Hoy said.

Fortunately for Hoy, he can save that speech for another day.

Glen Allen finally seized its elusive state title on Thursday night at the Siegel Center, taking down Frank Cox in four sets, 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 25-14, in the Class 6 boys volleyball championship match. It was the first championship in program history for the Jaguars, who finished their season 23-0.

“I’m pumped for every guy that has put on a Glen Allen volleyball jersey and pumped for the school,” Hoy said. “These guys put us over the edge, and it feels pretty sweet.”

Glen Allen fell to Deep Run in its past three tries at a state championship. The Jaguars slayed their West End rivals and boogeymen in their Class 5, Region C final matchup and again in the Class 6 semifinal. This year’s Class 6 tournament included teams from Class 5 and Class 6.

“We knew the goal wasn’t just to beat Deep Run this year,” said senior Brooks Cowart. “We’ve just been working and working, and it just feels like we just finally did it for the program and for the history, and it just feels really good.”

Glen Allen entered Thursday’s matchup with the edge in two key areas. The Jaguars were playing on their home turf in Richmond — even if it wasn’t on their school’s home court like in the spring — with a loud contingent of students and supporters lining both sides of the court.

This group of Jaguars also was familiar with the championship atmosphere. The same couldn’t be said for the visiting Falcons from Virginia Beach, who last competed for a Class 6 title in 2017, a loss to Cosby.

Senior Trevor Foy provided the vocal spark for Glen Allen before the opening serve, and that energy carried throughout the first two sets. The offense flowed through junior setter Andrew Onusconich, who set up Cowart and the rest of the Jaguars’ high-risers for 30 assists throughout the match.

The defense, led by libero Riley Irmen, was almost always in the right position to set up the big plays on offense. Cox senior Daniel Hurley, the biggest player on the court, was often the one powering spikes onto Glen Allen’s side of the court.

On many of those, Irmen threw himself onto the floor and kept the ball in play in what looked like sure points for the Falcons. The junior in the white jersey finished with 18 digs.

“Their passing is probably the best I’ve seen from any high school team ever,” said Cox senior Daniel Hurley, who racked up 22 kills. “Riley … that kid is insane now. He was picking up every single tip I threw at him that no other libero could pick up. That was super impressive.”

Cowart was the main source of kills in a well-rounded offensive performance at the net. He tallied 11 kills, while Foy and Wyatt Hampton added eight apiece.

Cox opened the fourth set with a 7-3 lead, but the confidence and energy that Glen Allen opened the match with quickly returned.

With each point, Hoy and his coaching staff held up one finger, the team’s signal to just focus on winning the next point.

A five-point run quickly followed with Cowart serving, and then another six-point surge with Irmen serving put Glen Allen just one point away from the title.

Up 24-14, Cowart handled a serve from Hurley, and Onusconich set the ball up to Foy on the left side. Foy lashed it over the net into a Cox blocker, and the ball fell to the ground for match point.

Almost immediately, Foy dove onto the floor as a chorus of cheers erupted and a dogpile of Jaguars formed around him.

“It was just shock for a second. I came down, I realized we won, and I shot to the floor because I had seen it happen three years in a row before,” Foy said. “And I wanted to do it myself.”

Glen Allen 25 25 18 25

Cox 22 22 25 14

GA: Andrew Onusconich 30 assists, 7 digs; Brooks Cowart 11 kills, 9 digs; Dominic Wheaton 6 kills, 3 blocks; Wyatt Hampton 8 kills, 3 digs, 2 blocks; Edwin Barrack 12 digs, 4 kills; Trevor Foy 8 kills; Riley Irman 18 digs.

Cox: Daniel Hurley 22 kills, 7 digs; Kyle Schlaepfer 43 assists, 9 digs; Chris Peters 13 digs, 8 kills.

dgarner@timesdispatch.com

Twitter: @DGarnerRVA

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