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Liller Lifts Northwest Netters to State Final


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By Kevin O’Rourke

After a dominating defeat of the 4A South Regional winner, Bowie High School on Wednesday, the Northwest Volleyball team will move on to face the Severna Park Falcons in the school’s first ever trip 4A State Volleyball Championship Game on Monday, a feat few would have predicted for this team at the beginning of the season.

Wednesday’s game which pitted the upstart Jaguars against a 15-1 team from Bowie that was the top seed coming out of the 4A South Region, and the ladies from Northwest were dominating in the 3-0 victory, winning 25-13, 25-9, and 25-9.

The seniorless Jags got a huge performance from junior Emma Liller who lead the team with 12 kills, including the last three points to win the match.

“She was killing it tonight,” said Northwest Coach Stephanie Blake of Liller’s performance. “She was awesome. she’s been doing that all year so it is not a surprise to us.”

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Northwest took the first set 25-13 as both teams were working out jitters of being on the big stage in the state tournament at Ritchie Coliseum on the campus of the University of Maryland.

Once the Lady Jags won that first game, they warmed to the task. They were loose, smiling and laughing, encouraging each other throughout the match. Clearly enjoying the competition, while keeping focus and showing no sign of being overwhelmed by the moment.

“They knew that they had to be good team to get here,” said Coach Blake.” We were really just concerned with playing our game and not worry about what the other team had done to get here.”

The second set saw junior Biamba Tshitenge win five kills and Liller added three more kills, to help the Jaguars build up a 15 point lead and take the set, 25-9.

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