Northwest players grew restless awaiting the first match of the season Sept. 4. Match officials arrived late, resulting in a 90-minute delay. At first serve, players had already been at school for more than 12 hours; by the match’s conclusion, the team wanted nothing more than a good night’s rest.
“I had players saying: ‘Oh my God, I have homework to do! It’s nearing my bedtime!’ ” Coach Stephanie Blake said.
Nonetheless, the Jaguars easily defeated Whitman, 3-0, holding the lead the entire third set, before finally going home.
Three-time All-Met player Jenaisya Moore led the Jaguars with 13 kills, two aces and four blocks. Freshman setter Isabela Neumann had 13 assists and nicely replaced Janiece Jefferies, a four-year starter who now plays at East Carolina University, in her first career game.
“She did very well,” Moore said of Neumann. “I know when I was a freshman, I was super nervous in my first game, but I think she held her own and she did a very good job. We have to move forward and hope the young ones are getting used to the game.”
Blake acknowledged that the team has “a lot of new players playing new positions” and that the team needs more experience playing together to build a more formidable team.
“They need to know if the ball comes right in the middle, who’s going to get the ball,” Blake said. “My setters knowing, besides Jenaisya, who they can go to and knowing where the block is and who they should set and not try to force any sets.”
Here are our top 10 rankings, which will update every week:
1. Flint Hill (5-0) Last ranked: 1
The Huskies won all four games last weekend at the Loudoun Valley tournament.
2. Northwest (1-0) LR: 2
Led by Jenaisya Moore, the Jaguars swept Whitman, 3-0.
3. Loudoun County (4-0) LR: 3
The Raiders eked out a close 3-2 victory over Musselman last week.
4. Holy Cross (1-0) LR: 4
The Tartans defeated O’Connell in three sets.
5. Stone Bridge (10-1) LR: 9
The Bulldogs posted an impressive, 3-0, win against Langley last week and went undefeated in the Albemarle Invitational.
6. Atholton (6-4) LR:8
After beating Reservoir in the season opener, the Raiders lost in the quarterfinals at the Mason-Dixon Invitational.
7. Langley (6-2) LR: 5
The Saxons won four games at the Showcase tournament before losing to Stone Bridge last week.
8. Arundel (1-0) LR: 10
The Wildcats’ game against Notre Dame Prep on Sept. 6 has been rescheduled to Oct. 9.
9. Middleburg Academy (6-1) LR: 7
Despite losing their first game of the season to Paul VI, the Dragons won the Fredericksburg Christian School tune-up tournament.
10. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-0) LR: NR
The Barons, after losing just one player from last season, return seven seniors and join the Top 10 after two wins.
Dropped Out: Tuscarora
On the bubble: St. John’s (9-1), South River (1-0), Northern (1-0)
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