The unbeaten Lady Jags had not played since Oct. 29, and the team stormed out to win their first 4A West post-season game against Clarksburg in straight sets 3-0 on Monday night at Northwest.
“They were really ready to play,” said Northwest Head Coach Stephanie Blake. “It has been ten days since our last game, against Watkins Mill. It has been a really long time with just practice and no games. They were looking forward to the game.”
Northwest won in straight sets, 25-12, 25-4, and 25-12 over Clarksburg, who had come into the game with hopes of knocking off last year’s regional champion. The Lady Coyotes finished the regular season 6-7 but were coming off of a 3-1 post-season victory over Quince Orchard. The young Clarksburg team, made up of only four seniors, finishes their season 8-8.
While the Coyotes are looking forward next season, the Lady Jags are looking to go deep into the post-season this year, after coming up just short in the 4A state championship game this year.
After storming through the regular season only losing three sets all year, the Lady Jags are ready to do the same in the post-season. “They have been focused and ready the entire season,” said Blake. “Every time we come into practice they are looking to kick butt, and they are super competitive with each other, but in a fun way. They are really all best friends.”
According to Blake, there is rarely a game when just one player had a great game. “There is always more than one player who has a great game. They are a great team. They win as a team. There are five or six players that are best friends. They are met through volleyball and are friends on the court, off the court, all the time.”
With Monday’s victory, the unbeaten Jags advance to play 14-3 Gaithersburg in the regional semi-finals on Wednesday night in Germantown. Gaithersburg also punched their ticket to advance on Monday night with a 3-0 victory over Wootton.
Gaithersburg has the distinction of being to the only team this season to win two sets against the Lady Jags, however in defeat. Northwest beat Gaithersburg 3-2 back on Sept. 24. Gaithersburg other losses came against Sherwood and Poolesville this season.
In other upcounty volleyball news, Damascus will play Poolesville in the 3A West regional semi-finals on Wednesday at Damascus. The 16-3 Swarming Hornets defeated Westminster 3-0 to advance while the 11-4 Poolesville Falcons defeated Oakdale 3-0 to advance.
Top: Northwest junior Leilani Mayer (12) returns a volley as the Clarksburg front line attempts to block it during Monday night’s 3-0 Northwest playoff victory.
Next: Senior Emma Liler (15) serves in the first set of Monday’s game versus Clarksburg.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.