— The Arundel volleyball team had seen this story before. Unfortunately for them, it again doesn't have a happy ending.
Sherwood defeated Arundel 27-25, 25-14,25-13 to win in the Class 4A state volleyball championship at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. Sherwood's Alex Holston, who will play volleyball at Florida next year, has been the major reason the Wildcats have been eliminated from the state tournament the past three years. Sherwood defeated Arundel in the semifinals in 2010, and the state championship last season.
Holston finished the match with 22 kills. She tied a state record in the Warriors state semifinal victory over Walt Whitman with 37 kills. Allie Orr led Arundel with seven kills.
"She's clearly a very strong player. In addition to the kills, she passes well and plays defense well," Arundel coach Ashley Yuscavage said. "It's always great to see a great player, but we are more than ready to see her move on to the next level."
Yuscavage smiled after saying she was happy to see Holston move on. But Arundel found out quickly why Holston is so difficult to defend. Arundel defended Holston well in the first set, holding her to seven kills but blocking her well. The Wildcats had a chance to win the set 26-24, but Sherwood used two kills to take the set, 27-25.
"We had a lot of momentum going into the second set," Arundel senior Ashlee Felton said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't sustain it after that."
The Wildcats were in the second set, trailing 14-13 halfway through, when Holston went to work. She delivered three kills and a block as Sherwood finished out the set on an 11-1 run.
Arundel had seen enough of Holston in the third set, bowing 25-14.
"It was pretty tough getting under her hits," Arundel senior Lily Glenn said. "Her arm goes down pretty fast. When you get under one of her kills, it feels pretty good."
The win was Sherwood's 57th straight over the last three seasons.
In the Class 2A Championship game, Williamsport (20-1) of Washington County got a battle from Calvert County's Calvert High (19-4), but defeated the Cavaliers in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22.
Stacey Christy led Williamsport with 12 kills, while Rachel Hornick led Calvert with 11 kills.
Christy, who will play volleyball at Virginia Tech, next year, showed why she is so highly-regarded with her outstanding play at the net.
After Williamsport pulled out to an 18-9 lead in the first set, Calvert came charging back. The Cavaliers managed to cut the lead to just three, 24-21, but could get no closer.
The Wildcats turned back repeated Calvert attempts to pull even, and the Cavaliers cut the lead to only one, 24-23, late in the second set before a kill by Karli Grimes finished out the set.
Williamsport maintained a good lead throughout the third set, but then had to survive a furious Calvert rally for the win.
The championship is the 13th for the Wildcats, who trail only Centennial (with 14) for the most won in the state of Maryland.