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Northwest Volleyball Unbeaten, Jags Soccer Teams Have Tough Week


By Kevin O’Rourke

The Northwest High School volleyball team dropped its first set this season, but remains undefeated.

Prior to Monday night’s game against Paint Branch High School, the Jags netters had won each game in straight sets.

They opened the season on the road with a 3-0 win over Richard Montgomery High School, and earned another road win at Magruder, 3-0, on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The lady Jags came home to play Walter Johnson and earned another 3-0 victory Friday night.

“My girls are attacking the ball really well and getting in position to attack,” said Head Coach Stephanie Blake. “They have started talking on the court more which is really great in helping them work as a unit while playing.”

Blake said the young team – the Jaguars are seniorless – has great potential this year. “All the girls have so much talent it is so fun to work with them and see them do things they didn't think they could. We will continue to work hard and I can't wait to see where we can be by playoff time. They all have to step up and be leaders”

Coach Blake’s team travelled to Paint Branch on Monday and came home with 3-1 win to improve their record to 4-0 for the season.

Blake said juniors Emma Liller and Gabby Bennett are stand outs at this early part of season. Blake’s also been pleasantly surprised with the play of junior Biamba Tshitenge, who is a junior with only one year of junior varsity experience. “She is making a huge impact for us on varsity this year,” said Blake. Another big part of the Northwest netters early success has been the ability for junior Becca Grundy to get comfortable playing a new position this season, said Blake

While the girls are playing well, the coach cautioned, “We could use work everywhere, we are far from perfect and far from our peak performance.”

The Northwest netters will put their unbeaten record on the line as they host Gaithersburg High School on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 pm.

The Northwest boys soccer team continues to search for an elusive first win. The Jags were shutout by Churchill High School on last Monday, Sept. 8, 3-0.

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Jaguars played Whitman High School, and came up short in 3-1 loss. Northwest’s goal came off the foot of senior Christian Nlend, from an assist from junior Henry Gomez.

They will take on Walter Johnson in a road game tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 pm

The Northwest girls soccer team has showed promise this season with wins over Eastern Technical High School, but fell to a two strong teams last week.

Last Monday, Sept. 8, the lady Jaguars defense had their hands full against a well-organized Churchill offense. Senior captains Dana Eckerstrom and Kat Lake played exceptional defense despite the 3-0 loss. Frequently playing emergency defense they consistently denied goal scoring opportunities keeping the score at just three goals against.

A poor clearance led to the third and final goal of the game. Not being able to do much about the 3 goals Laura Eckart played well in goal to keep her team in the game.

The lady Jags were on the road again on Wednesday, Sept. 10 to face a swarming Whitman High School Vikings team, which challenged them offensively. The Jags went down 1-0 on a goal from Vikings senior midfield Maddie Parker that ricocheted off the crossbar and into the net with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. The Jags were never able to get the ball past the Whitman keeper and the game ended 1-0.

Coach Josh Kinnetz team will hope to turn things around at home this week as they will face Walter Johnson High School at 5:15 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The girls are back on the road to face Sherwood High School on Friday, Sept. 19 in a 7:00 pm start.

The Northwest field hockey team beat Sherwood High School 2-0 last Thursday, Sept. 11 to even their record at 1-1. Saturday’s match versus Springbrook High School was cancelled to inclement weather and will be rescheduled.

This week the lady Jags field hockey team will travel to Paint Branch High School tonight at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, Sept. 16 and Quince Orchard High School on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 5:00 pm.

Caption: Northwest junior Sulayman Jeng (21) dribbles past Churchill defenders in the game played at Northwest on Monday, Sept. 8.

Photo by Germantown Pulse.

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