Volleyball: Westminster 'just clicked' in sweep over Winters Mill

Westminster’s lone loss of the season came at Winters Mill in late September, when the Falcons defeated the Owls in five sets.

The Owls won six matches in a row games leading up to their second tilt with the Falcons, and they were determined not to lose to their city rivals a second time.


The Owls found themselves down eight early in the second set, 14-6, after winning the first. A pair of kills from Zoe Costley and Jilienne Widener helped the home team tie it at 14-14. A back-and-forth battle ensued, but the Owls edged the Falcons en route to a 25-14, 25-23, 25-9 sweep.

Kills from Widener, a junior outside hitter, helped the Owls pick up a 7-2 lead in the third set and the girls powered through to win it, 25-9, and take the match to regain first place in the Carroll County Athletic League standings.

“I definitely think we played as a team and I think everybody just had each other’s backs and it was amazing to feel that,” Widener said. “We said in our team meeting that something just clicked and everybody felt it tonight. We were all there for each other so it’s just insane.”

The Owls picked up a 5-0 run in the first set, sparked by a kill from Costley, who had 12 kills on the night. Widener smacked a kill to put the Owls up 19-10, and another from Costley on set point closed out the game.

The Falcons notched the first three points of the second set and used a 4-0 run to secure a 9-3 lead over the Owls. It was 14-6 before a series of Winters Mill miscues allowed the Owls to score eight straight points to tie Falcons, 14-14. A kill from Brynn Choplin made it 15-14 and the Falcons scored four straight to gain a 20-16 lead.

Widener, who had a game-high 16 kills, fired a pair down to bring the Owls back up. It was 24-23 in favor of Westminster and the Falcons failed to return a serve to give the Owls a two-point victory in the second set.

The “next play” mentality gave the Owls the momentum they needed to get the game back in their favor, Widener said.

“I just remember in that moment looking at the score, I thought ‘OK, this is going to be tough, but I think we can do it,’ and we just kind of stayed packing with the punches and just kept doing us,” said junior defensive specialist Kasey Thomas.

“Eventually, we showed up.”

Westminster dominated the third set, reeling off five straight points for a 7-2 lead. Costley and Emily Stauder went up together for a block and the Owls led 12-7 as part of an eight-point run that put the match out of reach.

“I think everyone on our team brings something to the table,” Costley said. “When we’re all pushing each other to get better and on the court we all know our roles ad know our jobs and we just do that the best that we can.”

Badorrek notched 17 assists, Kayla Vaeth had 12 digs, and Kristin Vaeth added six kills for the Falcons (10-2, 9-1).

Emily Bartlett notched 32 assists, Sabina Rinda, a sophomore hitter, had 10 kills and Thomas collected 12 digs.

Westminster (11-1, 10-1 in the county) has one county match remaining, against South Carroll on Oct. 25, while Winters Mill has two left — Century and Francis Scott Key — on Oct. 23 and Oct. 25.


“We’re really focused on growth in this program so we don’t really see the last time we played them as even on the map because we’re focused on right now,” Owls coach Ed Benish said. “What can we control right now?”