Volleyball: No. 8 Magruder knocks off No. 5 Gaithersburg
It certainly wasn’t the Thursday night anyone expected when No. 5 Gaithersburg visited No. 8 Magruder in a battle of rival unbeatens seeking to stake their claim as the top program in Mongtomery County. Most prognosticators were guessing a four game match at least, perhaps five – even both coaches.
But Magruder came out with a blistering intensity that rarely wavered to sweep Gaithersburg 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14). The Colonels now sit alone atop the Montgomery County and 4A West standings.
“We were extremely pumped. Playing Gaithersburg, a really good team, we were really psyched,” junior outsider hitter Molly Hirrlinger said. “It was nice to go out and show people it doesn’t matter if somebody’s ranked above us, we can go out there and play hard against anyone.”
The Colonels (17-0) went on a 6-0 run to start the match and seemed to stun the Trojans (11-1) with their well-placed serves. Conversely, Gaithersburg appeared tight, committing numerous unforced errors that helped inflate the Magruder lead to 20-10 at one point.
The Trojans fought back though, rallying to a 25-22 final in the first game, but the momentum never carried over into the subsequent games. Despite a distinct height advantage and an edge in experience with seven seniors on the squad, Gaithersburg never seemed in sync.
“I’m disappointed,” Gaithersburg Coach Michele Staymates said. “I had players giving up and not matching (Magruder’s) intensity. There’s no excuse for that, not at this point in the season. I don’t know where it came from.”
Throughout the match the Colonels’ caused problems with their serves, especially Hirrlinger, who recorded five aces but also was sending the ball in play for 26 Magruder points.
In addition to the service game, setter Xiaoyi Li recorded 37 assists, middle hitter Brittany Skrutski had three blocks and six kills while outside hitter Michelle Fowle was her stalwart self recording 19 kills including three of Magruder’s final five points.
After one of those late-match kills, Fowle landed awkwardly on the side of her foot, which brought Coach Scott Zanni from the bench – but the senior captain wasn’t leaving now.
“With my adrenaline running I wasn’t coming out of the game no matter what,” Fowle said. “We came in here and we had a meeting in the back and we just said no matter what this is our battle tonight. Let us prove to ourselves and to everyone else that we deserve to win this.”
October 23, 2009; 12:01 AM ET
Categories: Gaithersburg , Magruder , Montgomery County , Volleyball
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