Girls’ fall sports make history

Katie Carita, design editor

Girls’ sports dominated the competition this fall, with all four teams, including cheerleading, cross country, field hockey and volleyball, making it to their respective state tournaments and many earning district, regional and state titles.

Varsity cheer built on its success from last season and qualified for the state competition for the second year in a row.

“Even though we lost a lot of seniors, we had a lot of talented underclassmen,” senior and captain Madi Hsieh said. “We actually had a better performance this year at state.”

Girls’ cross country won the district title after a close race on Oct. 16. During postseason races, seven girls run for each team but only the top five runners from each team typically earn points. The top five runners from both Chantilly and James Madison were tied in points, so it came down to the sixth place runners. The sixth runner from Chantilly finished before the Madison runner, so Chantilly clinched the district title.

“We had been working since the beginning of June, and we knew district was the first chance at getting to state,” sophomore Emma Lenz said. “We went into district a few points back from what we needed to win, but everyone stepped up and we achieved our goal.”

After winning district, the team finished strong in the regional race, earning the team a spot in the state competition.

“This whole season, we have pushed each other every day,” Lenz said. “We all made each other go a little further and harder, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without each other.”

While girls’ cross country was crushing the competition on the course, varsity field hockey finally defeated longtime rival Westfield 2-1 to win the district championship. The girls then went on to win the regional championship, beating Langley 2-1 in an intense game after losing 0-4 to the team during the regular season. This win made them the first regional field hockey champions from Chantilly. Varsity field hockey head coach and PE and Leadership teacher Tina Plaugher also won Regional Coach of the Year

“Langley had beat us earlier in the season, and I don’t think they took us too seriously, so it felt great to win and be able to prove them wrong,” junior and varsity field hockey player Mackie Thompson said. “It was one of those moments that reminds you of why you play sports: the feeling of winning and working hard so your teammates can succeed.”

Finishing out Chantilly’s great season is varsity volleyball. The girls dominated the competition, going 28-0 and beating Westfield 3-0 in both the district and regional finals. The girls then defeated Woodson and Colgan in the first and second rounds of state, placing them in the state final against Cox.

“I was nervous because even though we had statistics and film on Cox, anything could have happened; it was the two best teams in the state,” senior and captain Morgahn Fingall said. “We still had a lot of confidence in ourselves and we knew it was our last game no matter what, so we went out and did a great job and showed who we were as a team.”

In state finals, volleyball swept Cox 3-0, becoming the first Chantilly volleyball team to win the state championship.

This fall was filled with excellence from female athletes. With all the girls’ sports competing at elite levels, there was a clear sense of accomplishment and determination between all athletes.

“It’s an amazing feeling to have made history,” Fingall said. “We’re going to keep it with us for the rest of our lives.”