West Potomac volleyball finishes runner-up in region, makes state tourney

The girls posing together in the West Potomac gym
The team after a victory in the Occoquan Region tournament (West Potomac Volleyball image)

West Potomac’s girls volleyball team qualified for the Virginia AAA state tournament for the first time in school history this year, falling to Washington-Liberty in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The Woverines qualified for states by going on a run in the Occoquan tournament, knocking off West Springfield, Robinson and South County. The Wolverines came up short against Woodson in the final, but it was good enough to qualify for the eight-team state tournament.

West Potomac coach Amy Skidmore, who led the Wolverines to Gunston District championships the previous two seasons, credited the players’ offseason work for helping lead the squad to new heights this year.

“It’s a group of dedicated volleyball players,” Skidmore said.

The Wolverines had four players selected first team All-District — more than any other Gunston team — including Player of the Year Parker Hartzell, a junior outside hitter. Senior right side hitter Annika Munson and senior outside hitter Olivia Blondin also made 1st team All-District, as did junior setter Victoria Blaylock. Munson, Blondin and Blaylock were also honorable mention All-Region selections.

Underclassmen made up a majority of the Wolverines roster, and Skidmore said the mix of different experience levels came together to form a cohesive unit that lifted each other up.

“This season in particular, they just bonded really well as a group as a team, all 13 of them,” Skidmore said. “All of them worked really well together, and supported each other as a group.”

Here is the full 2019 All-Gunston District Volleyball team, featuring a number of players from West Potomac, Hayfield and Mount Vernon. Hayfield had both the coach of the year — Ric Licardo — and the Libero of the Year, senior Marina Pena.

The lists:

Gunston District First Team All-District

Player of the Year: Parker Hartzell, West Potomac
Libero of the Year: Marina Pena, Hayfield
Defensive Specialist of the Year: Lila Randall, T.C Williams
Coach of the Year: Ric Licardo, Hayfield
OH McKinley Fornili, Hayfield (Senior)
OH/OPP Caroline Schie, T.C. Williams (Senior)
OH Milan Rex, T.C. Williams (Freshman)
OH Elizabeth Kelly, Mount Vernon (Junior)
OPP Annika Munson, West Potomac (Senior)
S Victoria Blaylock, West Potomac (Junior)
OH Olivia Blondin, West Potomac (Senior)
OH Parker Hartzell, West Potomac (Junior)
L Marina Pena, Hayfield (Senior)
DS Lila Randall, T.C. Williams (Sophomore)

Gunston District Second Team All-District

2nd Team Libero of the Year: Emily Dorn, West Potomac
2nd Team Defensive Specialist of the Year: Sadaf Khan, Annandale
S Genevieve (Genna) Purcell, Hayfield (Junior)
L Emily Dorn, West Potomac (Senior)
S Chloe Wilmot, T.C. Williams (Freshman)
MB Samantha Dorn, West Potomac (Freshman)
OH Ashley Pearson, Hayfield (Senior)
MB Syeirra Graham, Hayfield (Senior)
DS/L Sadaf Khan, Annandale (Senior)
Opp Majlis Walker, T.C. Williams (Senior)
OH Isabella Pureza, Mount Vernon (Sophomore)
OH Abigail Pannell, Mount Vernon (Junior)

Gunston District Honorable Mention All-District

DS Hannah Livermon, Hayfield
OH Nicole Teifer, Hayfield (Junior)
MB Lauren Koelsch, West Potomac (Junior)
DS Sarah Schie, T.C. Williams (Senior)
OH Kaitlin Peters, T.C. Williams (Sophomore)
MB Cerys Jones, Annandale (Senior)
MB Jada Benning, Hayfield (Senior)
MB Riley Casagrande, T.C. Williams (Senior)