Thomas Dale High School’s boys volleyball team is headed to the state tournament.
On the cusp of a region title, the Knights are preparing for a run at a state championship.
Thomas Dale and James River played Monday in the regional final. The winner will be the top seed and the loser will be the second seed in the state tournament.
Both teams will compete in the state semifinals.
Under head coach Josh Forbes, the team has gone 15-2, falling only to Deep Run and James River.
Any team goes through challenges, and this version of the team is no exception. James River defeated Thomas Dale 3-2 with three Knight starters out or banged up. Earlier this season, at full strength, the Knights dispatched the Rapids 3-0.
However, the Knights have gotten most of their health back, and that’s put other Class 6 schools all over regions A and B on notice.
Thomas Dale is led by Conference Player of the Year Will Kimenhour, who’s being recruited by Pepperdine, George Mason and St. Francis.
Kimenhour has 276 kills and 84 blocks. He is accompanied by another big swinger, Mackenzie Scott, who has 168 kills of his own.
Zach Miller mans the libero position with 152 digs, and setter Jacob Craig has been outstanding with 414 assists and 123 digs.
A deep roster includes Andrew Carraway and Karson Jennings, and that depth has been a key to the Knights season.
“Without much starting experience, those players [Carraway, Jennings, Miller] have provided the depth we need,” Forbes said.
The Knights are looking to climb the mountain the program scaled in 2007 and win a state championship.
Thomas Dale volleyball put together one of the best volleyball seasons in state history in 2007, going 26-0 and only losing three sets all season. The state player of the year that season is now James River’s head coach, Michael Blankenbecler.