Middle School Volleyball Tournament

The 2019 season for middle school volleyball
was dominated by Dozier and Gildersleeve, on both the girls and boys courts. But could either school make a clean sweep
of the championship titles this year? Entering the tournament bracket, all 8 middle
schools were ranked based on their regular season records. The volleyball finals were held at Warwick
High school, with Warwick’s own volleyball players assisting with scoring and officiating. In the 10 years that middle school volleyball
has spiked interest in Newport News Public Schools, there is one certainty: either Dozier
or Gildersleeve will end up in the girls’ tournament final. And this year, fans were treated to both teams
riding high into the championship game. This is the 4th time in just 5 years that
these two teams have met in the title game. The Gildersleeve Seahawks pulled out to an
early lead in the first set, and were only one point away from going 1 set up. But Dozier refused to quit, and the Dragons
ended up winning the first set. From here, the momentum shifted in Dozier’s
favor, and the Dragons won the girls’ championship title in just 2 sets. Coach and Science teacher, Jane Marioneaux,
has led Dozier’s girls’ team for all ten years, but this year’s successful season
was one of the most satisfying. After winning the title two years ago, and
going through a rebuilding season last year, Dozier’s ladies worked hard, played with
amazing athleticism, and had a strong belief in themselves and each other to win Dozier’s
third girls’ title. During the season, Dozier never lost a set,
and enjoyed their second undefeated season in three years. On the boys’ court, Dozier and Gildersleeve
also are no strangers, meeting each other in the title game for the 4th time this season. In the past, Gildersleeve has defeated Dozier
twice for the Championship, in back to back years. Dozier lost to Gildersleeve in both regular
season games this year, but the Dragons were ready to avenge those losses. During the championship game, Dozier minimized
mistakes while increasing their serve percentage, and used strong communication and teamwork
to win the boys’ title in 2 dominating sets. Coach and PE teacher, Alex Jackson, has coached
the boys for the last 3 years. Each of these years, they’ve made it to
the championship round, but this was finally their year to earn gold. Their season didn’t include a perfect winning
record, but through adversity, and with strong relationships on and off the court, the Dozier
Dragons entered the tournament with a strong belief and determination that the title was
theirs to win. For the first time in 10 years, both volleyball
titles will reside in the trophy case at Dozier side by side, until, next season.

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