Based on their rankings, last night's volleyball match between No. 2 Broadneck and No. 8 Bowie should have been a meeting between two confident, polished teams.

Instead, Broadneck survived and stayed undefeated, beating visiting Bowie, 25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, but neither coach left feeling too optimistic. Both teams hit balls out of bounds, swung for spikes and missed and played loosely with the lead.

About the only thing that looked polished were both teams' post-point celebrations. After Bowie (2-2) won a point, each player on the bench stood in unison to flex her biceps; Broadneck (2-0) players jumped off the bench together and stomped their feet.

"I can hardly think of anything we did too well," said Broadneck's Stephanie Carey, who had a game-high 28 assists. "It was just one of those matches that you have to find a way to win."

Broadneck cruised in the first two games, thanks to solid spiking from Allie Woods and reliable defense from Carey. Neither team looked energized, though, until the third game, when Bowie fought off four match points and came back to win the game, 26-24.

Sufficiently jarred, Broadneck closed out the match efficiently. The Bruins won the first four points of the fourth game, and Bowie never recovered, losing, 25-22.

"We were all just rusty," Woods said. "Nobody really dominated or anything. It's still really early in the season."

Sitting in the bleachers before the game, Bowie Coach Diane McFadden conceded that she knew almost nothing about Broadneck. "To tell you the truth," McFadden said, "we're still trying to figure out our own team."

Broadneck entered the game similarly green. The team's early-season highlight? Finding out that its first two games had been postponed and rescheduled to the end of the season.

"That was a relief," Coach Romonzo Beans said, "because we weren't ready to play yet. We still had so many things to learn."

Said Carey: "We're not there yet. But at least now we know that, even if we're not playing well, we can find a way to win."