After winning the final point of the fifth set against the No. 8 Good Counsel volleyball team on Tuesday, the Elizabeth Seton bench erupted. The players mobbed each other, jumped up and down and screamed.
No team in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference had topped the five-time defending conference champion Falcons in a match in nearly six seasons. But the Roadrunners did it, with a 19-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-20, 15-13 victory, snapping Good Counsel’s 115-match conference winning streak.
“My stomach just dropped,” Elizabeth Seton senior outside hitter Cristen Harris said. “There was a smile that appeared on my face instantly.”
After dropping the first two sets, Elizabeth Seton (10-8, 9-7) clawed back with a rejuvenated effort behind its senior leaders, Harris and setter Dani Driver. Harris, a 5-foot-9 hitter, amassed an eye-popping 23 kills, 20 digs and five blocks. Driver added crisp passing and 16 digs.
“Cristen basically put the team on her back and said, ‘Let’s go,’” Elizabeth Seton Coach Terri Kerley said. “I never sensed through the night that they felt overwhelmed and overmatched. There was some low energy but they weren’t out of it.”
In the decisive fifth set, Harris had six huge kills to power the Roadrunners to victory.
“I just felt that I had to get it down on the other side,” Harris said.
Good Counsel (16-3, 14-1), which is fielding a younger team this season, has been a traditional volleyball power in the Washington area for several years. Under Coach Karen Kart, the Falcons have claimed three City Championships, five of the past six Maryland/D.C. Private School Championships and the past five WCAC titles. The Falcons last fell to a conference foe in the 2005 league title game, ironically to Elizabeth Seton.
“Honestly, I felt like they were going to have to lose sometime,” Harris said. “Comparing us playing them first time earlier in the season, it’s not like we were down by a lot. We were competing against them. It was those little errors.”