Broadneck’s volleyball squad looked to avenge their only loss of the season when they played the Arundel Wildcats in Saturday’s county championship at Annapolis High School. Instead of getting even, the Bruins met a similar fate during the rematch.
Arundel won in straight sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21.
“Tonight, they didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Broadneck coach Tracey Regalbuto said, reflecting on Arundel’s win. “I can’t remember them missing many serves, maybe one or two, and even hitting, they did not make a lot of errors. When you don’t mess up, you tend to win.”
Arundel made few mistakes in the teams’ September 26 game, which resulted in a 3-2 Arundel win. They made even fewer errors in the county championship.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 4-1 start in the first set before Broadneck rallied. The teams battled to a tie five times before Arundel pulled away with four straight points, compiling a 20-16 lead and eventually taking the set 25-21.
Broadneck reversed that start in the second set, going ahead 7-4.
“When you play a good team, it makes your energy better,” said outside hitter and opposite hitter Kennedy Smith, a sophomore. “Even when you’re down by a couple points … when the competition is more aggressive and faster, it makes you faster, so it’s fun playing those teams.”
Arundel slowed Broadneck’s surge, tying the second set at 12. The Wildcats then took a 15-14 lead and built on that advantage to win the second set 25-19.
With momentum on their side, Arundel opened the third set up 6-1 and led by nine at one point, but the resilient Bruins continued scrapping, pulling within three at 23-20 before Arundel closed out their victory by winning the third set 25-21.
Despite the loss, Broadneck players felt like they matched their opponents’ intensity.
“Since the last time we played Arundel and knowing in past seasons that it’s always going to be a fight, it’s just an instinct to not give up,” said outside hitter Brin Chesnut, a senior. “I think, in general, our team has a lot of grit, and we were really fighting.”
Chesnut finished with 10 service points, 13 kills and 14 digs. Sydney Lawrence added 10 service points, one ace, two kills, four blocks, 33 assists and nine digs. Addison Britton accrued six blocks. Kennedy Smith had eight kills and one block.
The Wildcats were led by strong games from outside hitter Taylor Johnson, libero Bailey Swinton and others.
The county championship served as a worthy test for Broadneck, which has an eye on Leonardtown in a potential match of the top two teams in the 4A East region playoffs.
“Arundel serves really hard,” Regalbuto said. “That’s one reason we wanted to play them because we will face, hopefully, eventually, Leonardtown and they also serve it hard, so we wanted to see that exposure early.”
With that outlook, the Bruins are excited to compete in the playoffs. Regional quarterfinals are scheduled for November 2-3, followed by regional semifinals on November 6.
“We were looking forward to this game because it is going to prepare us for playoffs,” Chesnut said, “and we’re really going to take what we learned from this to see what we can get better on because this is a really strong team and we’re going to be seeing teams just as good throughout playoffs.”
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