Butterflies swirled in Broadneck senior Allie Woods's stomach, but she tried to hide the nerves from the rest of her teammates. She did it -- and in the process led the Bruins to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 victory over Magruder in the Maryland 4A volleyball final last night at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.
Woods had 11 kills and junior hitter Kanisha Sheppard added 14 as Broadneck (17-2) captured its third title in four years. Meantime, Magruder (22-3) finished with the second-best record in school history after advancing to its first championship.
"Me, Kassie [Montgomery] and Stephanie [Carey] knew that we were the leaders and had to motivate our team," Woods said. "We kept telling them that we could do this even though we had butterflies."
The Bruins managed to pull out the victory with crucial runs in each game. In the first with the game tied at 18, Sheppard connected on a kill that ignited a 6-0 run -- including two aces -- to give Broadneck a 24-18 lead.
"Their setter did a nice job of mixing it up and setting a diversified offense," Magruder Coach Scott Zanni said of Carey, who finished with 23 assists. "I think we matched up pretty well in hitting and blocking, but we missed more serves, and they got more aces."
The second game went back and forth until Woods tied the score at 14 with a kill. The Bruins then won six consecutive service points behind Woods in a stretch where she had two aces, and Broadneck took a 20-14 lead. Magruder saved two game points, but Montgomery's kill sealed the win.
Magruder led the third game 14-11 before the Bruins began to pull away. With Sheppard serving, Broadneck won eight consecutive points -- including three straight kills by Woods -- to take a 19-14 lead. Magruder managed to cut the deficit to 24-22, which included saving four match points, but Sheppard connected on a kill to seal the game.
The victory was sweeter for Broadneck when the players considered their 3-0 loss to Calvert in last year's 3A final.
"I felt what it was like to lose last year, and we didn't know if it were possible for us to come back," Woods said. "This is a great way to end my high school career. This was the last game I was going play in high school, and I didn't want my career to end on a bad note. We weren't going to let any ball hit the ground."