Talk about a squad building momentum for the playoffs. The Broadneckvolleyball team began construction two months ago.
That's when the Bruins laid the foundation for their 13-match winning streak with asweep of Perry Hall.
And they plastered another opponent yesterday, downing third-seeded Queen Anne's, 3-1, in the Class 4A Region IV semifinals.
Broadneck took the first two games, 15-7, 15-12, before Coach Glenn Brainerwent to his bench and the Lions responded with a 15-11 win. But the Bruins came back behind the serving of junior Julie Scott and senior Nikki St. Clair to take the final game, 15-0.
Scott served the first nine points, including three aces, and St. Clair garnered the nextfive. A St. Clair kill with junior Dana Etzel serving ended both thematch and the Lions' season.
The second-seeded Bruins (13-2) advance to Friday's region finals opposite top-seeded Severna Park (16-0), a 3-1 winner over No. 4 Meade in yesterday's other semifinal.
The Falcons are the last team to defeat Broadneck, taking a 3-1 decision Sept. 24. They won the first two games, 15-10, 15-7, lost the third, 15-17, and closed with a 15-5 win.
The result provided Severna Park with a modicum of revenge after losing to the Bruins in last year's region semifinals.
Now, it's Broadneck that has a score to settle.
"We've been looking forward to playing Severna Park since we lost to them," Brainer said. "Playing Severna Park is always a thrill for us. I was afraid we might be looking past Queen Anne's."
Broadneck struggled in spots yesterday, often failing to communicate and missing returnable balls. But it had Scott to continually bail it out of trouble.
Scott finished with 21 kills, 19 service points, five aces and two blocks in what she called her "second-best" game of the season.
"The Severna Park game was probably my best. My serving wasn't so hot, but I hope I made up for it with my hitting," she said.
Just ask Brainer.
"Today, she meant everything. She hit from the front, she hit from the back, she served well. Luckily, she was on tonight. I've never seen her play as well for all four games as she did today," he said.
"She made second-team (Coaches) All-County, but tonight she proved she belongs on the first team."
As Brainer anticipated, the Lions keyed on senior Kennita Kirby Jones (nine kills,three blocks), who played a strong game against them in their earlier meeting.
"They knew what they had to do to stop Kennita; they double-teamed her all night," Brainer said. "They thought they could just stop her, but that was their mistake."
Queen Anne's (11-4) madefew mistakes in taking the third game.
"They dominated us," Scottsaid. "The had great serving, and our passing fell. We weren't talking out there."
Now, the Bruins are talking about a possible appearance in next week's state playoffs. But first, they'll have to get past Severna Park.
"Our serving and passing has got to be better," Scott said. "We all have to work together, and everything has to be balanced."
St. Clair had 13 service points, four aces and four kills. Senior Jen Tozzi and junior Jennifer Rapczynski had nine and eight service points, respectively.