As one of only five seniors on a young Broadneck team, Dallas Jasper knows her play and attitude inevitably trickle down to her teammates. Sometimes she just needs a reminder.
Jasper powered her Bruins (13-2) on a late surge to knock off South River and capture their sixth Anne Arundel County title, 19-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 15-8 on Tuesday night at Broadneck.
While the senior middle blocker finished with nine blocks and six kills, Jasper was quiet in the early going as the Seahawks jumped out to a 2-1 lead. She woke up in the fourth with five blocks and six kills over the final two frames to send South River (13-2) home as county runner-up.
"I think I realized that I had to pick myself up after the first three sets because I wasn't doing great and it was bringing my team down," Jasper said. "I think in the fourth and fifth set I really picked it up and it picked my team up."
Jasper's block on Seahawks star hitter Madison Carter was the final point of the match, sealing the fifth set and kicking off the celebration for Broadneck.
Junior Katie Byrne added 27 27 digs and provided energy and leadership on the back line. Sophomore setter Jordyn Beans racked up 51 assists, while Sophia Shepard and Carley Cleland combined for 22 kills.
Broadneck coach Dave Verostic, who also won a county title in 2010 at Severna Park, is confident that his young Bruins squad has a bright future. If they want to be a factor in the present, he will need some of his more experienced players to replicate the performances of Jasper and Byrne on Tuesday.
"I kind of had to push them, challenge them and a couple of the older girls a little bit to lead this team," Verostic said. "To prove that they deserve all these awards that they're going to get."
Jasper is one senior Bruin who is starting to get the message.
"My goal for the whole season was to be a leader," she said. "When I play up and I'm happy, [my teammates] will be too. They're going to follow what I do — if I'm playing bad or have a bad attitude."
Tuesday night's back-and-forth battle was the second time in five days these Anne Arundel County rivals needed five sets to determine a winner. Playing at home last Thursday, South River beat Broadneck to clinch a shot at the first county title in school history. Tuesday night's defeat marked the fourth time they've come up short in the finals, three of which have been against Broadneck.
"I don't think anything really changed from last week," said Carter, the Seahawks junior leader. "Today just went their way. It was a good fought match."
Carter, an All-County selection last year, had 21 digs and 18 kills in the loss.
Both teams now move onto the state playoffs, where they could very well meet again next Wednesday in the regional semifinal. Count Jasper among those who foresee the momentum the Bruins gained Tuesday night as a major factor.
"If we play like we did tonight for the whole rest of the playoffs we're going to go to [the state championships]," she said. "I don't have a doubt in my mind."