There was a sense of nervousness and uncertainty for Magruder when the team stepped into Ritchie Coliseum in College Park on Thursday to face Bel Air in the Maryland 3A volleyball semifinals, a stage the Colonels hadn’t reached since 2009.

The Colonels eventually settled in and displayed the confidence they have had all season to produce a 25-17, 25-16, 25-5 victory and advance to their first state championship game in 10 years. They will meet Northern, which beat Westminster in the other semifinal.

“Ten years has been a long time,” Magruder Coach Scott Zanni said. “I’m glad this group got here. The last two years we’ve felt like we were one of the best 3A teams in the state. I’m happy for these girls.”

Magruder lost only four games combined in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but it fell short of the state final both years.

The Colonels (24-0) made it a goal to rewrite the narrative.

“Continuously throughout the season, we would push ourselves to see how well we could play,” junior libero Alex Campero said. “We would surprise ourselves every match, like, ‘Whoa, we didn’t think we could beat this team by so much.’ ”

Magruder’s offense flowed through seniors Kaliyah Moss and Maya Scott. They delivered kill after kill to keep Bel Air (16-2) out of rhythm.

When the Colonels were trailing in the first set, Campero provided a spark, serving three straight aces to put her team in front.

Magruder’s championship match Saturday will not be easy. The Patriots (20-0) used strong blocking and defense in a 26-24, 23-25, 25-11, 25-20 win over Westminster (21-1).

Outside hitters Allie Droneberger and Allie Timbario combined for 35 kills for the Patriots. Droneberger posted a double-double with 20 kills and 16 digs, and Timbario delivered the final kill in the fourth set, which caused the Patriots to mob her in celebration.

“I thought they broke my leg at one point,” Timbario said. “But before that, Jaelyn [King] looked at me and said, ‘This is coming to you.’

“I mentally prepared myself to know where to put the ball, and right as it hit the ground, I got mauled by my teammates.”

Magruder watched Northern’s game and saw the challenge the Patriots will provide. The Colonels appear undaunted.

“It’s time to make history,” Scott said.