COLLEGE PARK - After No. 3 Broadneck fell behind in the third game of last night's match against Eleanor Roosevelt, Bruins coach Scott Graf called his only timeout. With his team up two games to none, he calmly reminded his players to stay positive and keep communicating with one another.
The Bruins continued doing both, and after rallying to tie the score, they took the lead for good and finished off their sweep, defeating the Raiders, 24-9, 25-8, 25-16, in the Class 4A state semifinals at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. The Bruins (16-1) advanced to Monday night's state championship against Thomas Johnson, which earlier swept Magruder in the other semifinal.
"I've always stressed never to look past an opponent," said Graf, who added he was not surprised by the ease with which his team dispatched the previously unbeaten Raiders. "I've watched enough NFL to know that's why they play the games."
Broadneck got off to a fast start behind the setting of junior Shelby Greene, who finished with 36 assists. Greene was instrumental in getting easy kills for teammates Caroline Jacobs, who finished with 10, and Kourtney Salvarola, who had nine.
Salvarola also came up big from the service line. After a timeout by the Raiders, with the score 11-5 in favor of Broadneck, the teams traded points twice before the Bruins reeled off seven points in a row behind Salvarola's serve.
"My serves were actually decent today," said Salvarola, who switched back to a harder serve at midseason. "Even the ones they did get back, my setter and the hitters got kills for me to be able to serve again."