But they were able to recover, with senior outside hitters Kaliyah Moss and Maya Scott constantly pounding the ball through Northern’s tough defense. The Colonels put the first set behind them to defeat the Patriots, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20, to claim their first state title.
“We always say, ‘It’s this year.’ ” Moss said. “Being here for four years, there was a different feeling. I never had that feeling with my former teams, but this year we had better chemistry and we worked hard.”
Moss and Scott, both seniors, have racked up personal accolades and set school records with their attacking and blocking. Yet there was still a glaring hole in their legacy.
As they celebrated with teammates on the court at Ritchie Coliseum in College Park, there was a sigh of relief between the two, knowing that they were a part of Magruder volleyball history.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Moss, who finished with 19 kills and eight digs. “I don’t know how to put this feeling into words.”
Scott, a Hampton commit, and Moss, who has fielded offers from Rutgers and Morgan State, were resolute under pressure throughout the season, and that continued in the championship match. When Magruder (25-0) was going back and forth with Northern (20-1) in the fourth set, the outside hitters traded kills, creating separation to run away with the match.
“Even when it’s a hard game, I know I can depend on them,” Magruder setter Tonessa Jhingory said.
Scott, a four-year starter, had a fierce look on her face when she jumped and drilled the ball off a Northern player to cap off the Colonels’ historic season.
Her expression was much different in the aftermath.
“I’ve worked hard,” an emotional Scott said after the game. “There was a numbness being able to get the final kill of my senior year and to get Zanni his first championship.”