GAITHERSBURG -- For Western, trying to return the Quince Orchard serves proved tough, coping with its speed difficult and trying to do something at the net nearly impossible.
In short, it was a long night.
Quince Orchard relied on its speed, power and teamwork to dominate from start to finish and roll to a 15-5, 15-6, 15-0 victory over Western in the Class 4A state semifinal last night at Watkins Mill High School.
Quince Orchard (18-1), which advances to the state final on Saturday at Catonsville Community College, needed only 54 minutes to defeat Western (18-1). This was Western's second consecutive trip to the state semifinals. Last year, eventual champion Severna Park beat the Doves in three games.
Quince Orchard gave Western trouble in nearly every area of play. The Cougars' bullet-like serves and strong net play kept Western in retreat much of the night.
Western coach Shirley Williams said the Doves suffered because of their lack of experience in playing teams of this caliber.
"My only disappointment in my team is that I was not able to schedule teams [like this]," said Williams. "They need to play against teams that are hitting against them."
And that's what the Cougars did. They played a relentless attacking brand of volleyball that disrupted Western's game.
Western has an athletic team that also likes to attack, but the Doves were taken aback many times by the Quince Orchard style. The Doves often struggled while trying to set up their offense.
Brooke Olsen led the way for Quince Orchard. In the final game, she served 15 straight points to seal the victory. Aces accounted for five of those points.
Williams said she took pride in the way her team played, especially since the team had been rarely challenged this season. The Doves swept 16 of their 18 matches.
Before Dulaney extended Western to five games last Saturday in the region final, Edmondson was the only other team to win a game against Western this season.
Western won 54 of the 61 games it played this season.