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Sherwood volleyball clinches third straight Maryland 4A championship with sweep of Arundel

By Louis Nelson,

Sherwood senior Alex Holston tracked the ball as it went up, following it with her eyes as it came back to earth and timing her jump and arm swing perfectly, just as she’d done all season long. Holston hammered home the final kill of her high school career, putting top-ranked Sherwood up 22-13 in the third set of the Maryland 4A title match, capping an accolade-filled three-year run with one last state championship.

The Warriors (19-0) swept Arundel in the 4A title match, 27-25, 25-14, 25-13, cementing their third straight state championship. Monday also marked the second straight year in which Sherwood beat Arundel to win the state championship and the third consecutive year in which the Warriors beat the Wildcats in the 4A state tournament.

“I know coming in freshman year, I never would have expected that we would win three state championships,” senior Maddie Moyer said. “It’s unbelievable and it’s a dream come true. Winning one was amazing, but three, that’s unheard of.”

No. 7 Arundel’s best set was its first, when the Wildcats pushed the Warriors to set point at 25-24 before allowing Sherwood to score three straight points, two via kills from Holston, to take the set. From there, the Warriors ran away from Arundel (19-1) using a 12-2 run in the second set and a 9-0 run in the third to secure the championship.

“She’s leaving. I’m not going to have nightmares now,” Arundel Coach Ashley Yuscavage said of Holston. “She’s clearly a really strong player. Everything she did out there, she did well. She passed well when she had to, she played defense well. It’s always exciting to see really good volleyball players and it’s exciting to see her move on, too.”

After setting a Maryland state tournament record with 37 kills in Sherwood’s semifinal win against Walter Johnson, Holston finished Monday’s championship with a match-high 25 kills. The Florida recruit and reigning All-Met Player of the Year also finished with a pair of blocks, the Warriors’ only blocks of the night. Moyer, Sherwood’s setter, finished with 10 digs and 29 assists. Senior Megan Brady had a match-high 15 digs for Sherwood.

“It’s still hasn’t really hit me yet. But just knowing that we’ve won three is a dream come true,” Holston said.

Junior Allie Orr was the top scorer for the Wildcats on Monday with five kills. Junior Sam Hebb was Arundel’s top defender with eight digs.

“Even just being able to say that we just played with them. There were some points, like that first game, we were in it the whole time,” Orr said. “Just being able to say we were able to play with a team like Sherwood, that’s a pretty big accomplishment win or lose.”

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