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A salute to excellence

We and the rest of the Heart of Virginia are mighty proud of the recent postseason efforts put forth by Longwood University’s softball team and Fuqua School’s varsity squad and congratulate both groups of young ladies and their coaches.

The Lancers tripled their number of wins in the NCAA Tournament during the school’s Division I era, building on last year’s regional win over Virginia Tech with regional victories this year over Princeton and the University of North Carolina.

Though Longwood’s season ended on Sunday, it proved itself competitive against host and national seventh seed James Madison University as the Lancers played for an NCAA Regional Championship.

Kathy Riley has once again proven herself to be a tremendous head coach. Following her lead, seniors Carly Adams, Jamie Barbour and Emily Murphy have helped the Lancers achieve three 40-win seasons, three Big South Conference Tournament championship and three NCAA Tournament appearances in the last four years, among other accomplishments.

Third-seeded Fuqua lost 4-3 to second-seeded Kenston Forest in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state semifinals, but the Lady Falcons fought valiantly in the face of adversity.

They were in a 4-1 hole after the first inning, but demonstrated resilience developed over the course of the season, climbing back. They also produced what Coach LaDonia Mujahid said was their best defensive performance of the season.

We salute both teams for their excellence, not only in athletic performance, but in representing our community.