Maryland 4A Volleyball
Magruder to face two-time defending champion Broadneck
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In the third game of the Maryland 4A semifinal Wednesday night, two-time defending champion Broadneck reminded every spectator inside Ritchie Coliseum that this was the Anne Arundel County school's home away from home.
The Bruins, in their 10th consecutive state tournament appearance, responded with a show of strength after dropping the second game by 11 points to capture a 3-1 win (25-22, 14-25, 25-21, 25-18) over tournament first-timer Urbana. Broadneck will take aim at its sixth championship in the past nine years against Magruder at 5 p.m. Saturday.
"As the game goes on, I feel we work together as a team even more," said junior outside hitter Adrienne Gebele, who was one of three Bruins in double digits in kills with 13.
The Hawks (14-4) traded points in the first game, but put together a stellar 10-2 run in the second to take an advantage that appeared to catch the Bruins (16-2) off guard for a 25-14 win. Broadneck's overall offense simply wasn't itself in the second game and the squad committed nine unforced errors.
Key among the missing ingredients was the presence of rocket-armed outside hitter Kourtney Salvarola, who after a handful of early hitting errors asked setter Carlee Rossiter to not give her the ball. Rossiter is starting in the state tournament for Broadneck after usual setter Shelby Greene was ruled academically ineligible on Tuesday.
"I didn't want to swing (early on)," Salvarola said. "After hitting into the block and a few out, I just stopped for a second and told myself just jump the way I know I can jump and get my approach. At first I was really down but then it just came back like it was normal."
Salvarola recorded 11 of her match-high 14 kills in the final two games, including a stretch of four consecutive Broadneck points in the third.
"She has good placement," Urbana outside hitter Megan Kent, who recorded 13 kills said. "Once she started hitting we just weren't prepared. Compared to the other teams we played, we came across nothing like (Salvarola)."
Colonels shake slow start
Although many members of the Magruder volleyball team had played in the Maryland 4A semifinals before, the Colonels still showed some early jitters against Bowie.
Their offense wasn't completely in sync and they hadn't quite found a way to contain Bulldogs outside hitter Siri Ngundam. But once they relaxed, Magruder cruised to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-8, 25-17) win over previously-unbeaten Bowie.
"I think it was a lot of nerves that were setting in," said outside hitter Michelle Fowle, who led the match with 13 kills. "For a lot of players this is their first time being on the court in this huge gym, but the returning players who have actually played out there tried to calm everyone down even though we were nervous too."
The nerves were apparent as the Colonels (18-0) committed several unforced errors in the first game that allowed the Bulldogs (16-1) back into the frame.
By the second game though, Magruder setter Xiaoyi Li (34 assists) was receiving crisper passes, and there was little hesitation in the Colonels' offensive execution en route to a 25-8 win in the frame. Magruder then used an 8-2 run in the third game to close out the match.