Whenever a play breaks down or a point gets crazy, Arundel’s senior twins just know what’s going to happen. Brittany, the setter, picks out Allie’s voice. Allie, an outside hitter, knows where Brittany will set the ball.
“It’s like somehow, she always knows where I am,” Allie said. “I know that sounds weird, but we’re pretty good at communicating on the court.”
The result is usually pretty good, too. Monday night against St. Paul’s, for example, Allie had 27 kills and Brittany had 25 assists. The Wildcats rallied to win their season-opener, 24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 31-29.
As two of Arundel’s three seniors, the Orr twins bring both talent and leadership to Coach Ashley Yuscavage’s inexperienced team. Allie bristles with positivity and is constantly encouraging her teammates. Brittany described herself as more intense and “aggressive.”
“I think they’re a perfect balance,” Yuscavage said. “I think it’s good for our younger teammates to see both of those sides, and to see that both of them can be successful. They’re just different.”
With Allie and Brittany in the starting lineup, the Wildcats (1-0) have only lost two matches in the past two years, both to Sherwood in the Maryland 4A state championship.
“Even though we haven’t come out with a state title, I think we’ve been able to leave the court knowing that we did the best that we could, give or take a couple points or a couple games,” Brittany said. “Hopefully this season takes us far.”
Last season at Osbourn Park, Coach Michele Blue did not mine losses for silver linings.
After a strong start, the Yellow Jackets stumbled to the finish line. They went undefeated in Cardinal District regular season play, but lost to Woodbridge in the first round of the district tournament.
Over the weekend at the Loudoun Valley Invitational, Osbourn Park came within three points of becoming the first team this season to steal a set from No. 2 Flint Hill. Instead, that honor fell to Broad Run on Monday night.
Flint Hill beat the Yellow Jackets, 25-19, 25-22.
“I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from a loss as happy with how we played as I did,” Blue said. “Just because we’re young doesn’t mean I don’t expect a whole lot out of them.”
Blue said the lack of expectations within her team compared to last year’s 20-4 squad is refreshing.
“This team, they don’t know what’s happened in the past. . . . [They’re] bright eyed, ready to take on the world. We definitely have a lot of firepower.”
The Yellow Jackets boast more height than is typical of the team. Defense is a strength with returning libero Megan Sanchez in the fold. Megan Onyundo, a 5-foot-11 junior, moves from the middle to attack from the outside.
Blue said she will lean on heady junior Hannah Braley to keep the team grounded. At 5-foot-4, Braley is slight for an outside hitter.
“She’s a smart player,” Blue said. “She knows when to sit. She knows when to swing. . . . She’s never going to intimidate anybody, but she makes up for that with her brain.”
Langley sophomore Jessica Donaldson is averaging an area-high 12.3 kills per match. . . . Sherwood snapped a 57-game win streak in a loss to Tuscarora (Md.) at the Magruder Invitational. . . . Senior Sydney Busa leads Heritage with 45 kills and 47 digs. The Pride took Broad Run to five sets in their only loss. . . . Howard downed Centennial in straight sets Tuesday night. . . . Broad Run senior leader Taylor Austin suffered a concussion at the Loudoun Valley Invitational, where the Spartans went 2-2.
1. Loudoun County (3-0) LR: 1
2. Flint Hill (5-0) LR: 2
3. Stone Bridge (1-0) LR: 4
4. Langley (6-1) LR: 5
5. Holy Cross (3-0) LR: 6
6. Sherwood (6-1) LR: 3
7. Arundel (1-0) LR: 8
8. Madison (7-0) LR: 10
9. Howard (2-0) LR: NR
10. Heritage (3-1) LR: NR
Dropped Out: No. 7 Centennial (0-1), No. 9 Broad Run (4-3)
On the Bubble: Damascus (1-0), Madeira (0-0), Broad Run (4-3)