Flint Hill had not been tested until Tuesday night.
The second-ranked Huskies opened the 2013 season by winning eight straight sets, but they needed all five periods to down No. 9 Broad Run in Ashburn.
Junior Ally Ford registered an ace to put Flint Hill (5-0) within a point of victory, then served a ball that would be sent into the net to close out the 25-15, 25-6, 20-25, 12-25, 15-7 win in Ashburn.
Ford registered a match-high 15 kills and said a dominant second set lulled Flint Hill into complacency.
“We got way too cocky,” Ford said. “We let them come back.”
Broad Run (4-3) was determined to fight harder than it did three days earlier, when Flint Hill swept the Spartans in the Loudoun Valley Invitational tournament.
Fanelli executed several diving digs, but left the court with her face buried in her jersey.
When the Spartans went down, 1-6, in the second set, Kaitie Maloney told her team, “we can do this.”
“No matter if we win that set or not, you have to get your team back fired up,” Maloney said. “We proved that no matter how far down we get, we can come back.”
Maloney facilitated with 16 assists, and senior Rachel Hendricks led Broad Run with 12 kills.
The Spartans did not score more than two consecutive points in the second period but took Maloney’s message to heart in the next two sets.
As Broad Run captured momentum, Flint Hill could not keep the ball in bounds. A Ford error sparked a nine-point run for the Spartans in the third set.
“It didn’t seem like anything was going right for us,” said Flint Hill Coach Carrol Anderson, the 2012 All-Met Coach of the Year.
“Our kids were missing out of bounds by a little bit, the ball was rolling out of bounds, that kind of thing.
In some ways this was good for us.”
In the end, Flint Hill’s depth of talent proved to be too much. Michelle Abt owned the net with six blocks and 11 kills. Gracie Anderson kept the ball in play with 23 digs, and Allie Fellows notched 29 assists.
Ford scored with power and finesse. She displayed her strength in warm-ups, when she accidentally sent a spike careening into Anderson’s face. The coach laughed it off and told her, “good swing.”
After a slate of nonconference foes, Flint Hill opens its Independent School League AA season against Madeira on Sept. 17.