At 6 feet 2 inches, Seneca Valley middle blocker Krista Eschelman draws a lot of attention from opposing teams. But Whitman's players had to look out for Seneca Valley's Lauren Green and Jasmine McNair, too, yesterday, as the duo helped lead the Screaming Eagles to a 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 victory in Bethesda.
Sixth-ranked Seneca Valley remained perfect this fall with the nondivision Montgomery County win. The Eagles are 11-0 and have not dropped a game all season. Whitman fell to 9-4 overall.
Last week, Seneca Valley clinched the county's White Division regular season title with a victory over Poolesville.
"I wasn't totally thrilled with how we played, but we pulled it out," Seneca Valley Coach Sue McPherson said of last night's match. "Whitman is a tough team and they dug out a lot of balls. . . . But that was best that I've seen Lauren and Jasmine play all season. It is huge to know when we're down that others can step up and keep us winning."
Whitman had plenty of opportunities, but made a few mistakes at critical points in the match. That opened the door for Green and McNair. With Seneca holding a 21-20 lead in the first game, Green connected on a kill and then McNair got another two points later. Eschelman closed out the game with her own kill.
"It's a lot of pressure," McNair said of maintaining the win streak. "But it's really important that we come together as a team, not just one person. We're at our best when we play together."
In the second game, McNair sparked a run with two aces to give the Screaming Eagles a 22-13 edge. In between, Green served two aces, and she capped the game with a kill.
Whitman tied the score at 20 in the third game. But with setter Julie Gassert serving, Seneca Valley outscored the Vikings 5-1 to secure the victory. Deborah Rodrigues provided two critical kills, along with one each from Green and McNair.
"We just want to keep the record going," Eschelman said. "It's awesome. The whole school and administration has been so supportive. We have a better record than the football team [6-2], which is very good."
Senior Kit Fry led Whitman with six kills and eight blocks, while Ariel Werner added five kills and Anna Peterson had four blocks.