Julie Scott's love affair with volleyball began as a fling.
Before she developed into a star at Broadneck, Scott had to be coaxed onto the court in Montana, where she spent her 'f freshman year.
"It was a total joke that I went out for the team," said Scott, 17, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Volleyball Player of the Year. "I had never even played volleyball, never even thought about it."
Her most vivid memory from that first season? "At one practice, I passed out because I hadn't eaten all day," she said. "I got hit in the head and it knocked me out. I was on the floor."
Since picking herself up, Scott has come a long way, and not just in terms of mileage. She recently completed her third season on Broadneck's varsity, and she went out in style.
The 5-foot-8 hitter had 94 kills during the regular season and 27 in two region playoff games. The kills came from just about every spot on the floor and at terrifying speeds.
"We'd take her out against some of the weaker teams because we were afraid she was going to hurt somebody," said coach Glenn Brainer.
"I knew she was going to be the best player in the county by what she did toward the end of last season. She would have been way over 200 kills, but I kept pulling her out to let my younger players play."
Scott's season was filled with highlights. She had 16 kills and four aces in a 3-0 win over then-unbeaten South River, but her favorite moment came in the region semifinals against Old Mill.
Going against a Patriots team that includes two 6-footers, Scott had 17 kills in a 3-1 victory.
"The first time we played Old Mill, I was trying to hit over the nTC blocks," she said. "This time, I just went right at them. I thought, 'I don't care if I get blocked; I'm just going to hit and hit hard and go for it.' I was proud of myself for doing that."
Brainer recalled a match against Queen Anne's when Scott had to leave after colliding with a teammate and "busting her nose open." With their best player on the bench, the Bruins watched a once-comfortable lead shrink to 14-12.
"She didn't want to come out as it was, and I put her back in," he said. "They had the serve, and she had a kill. She rotated the very next play as a server and aced them. It completely dropped their momentum, and we won the next two games easily.
"Any time we had trouble, she would come up with the big play."
Scott's primary goal at the beginning of the year was to eclipse her 131 kills as a junior. She had more attacks this year and a better idea of where she wanted to put the ball.
"I was hitting to smarter places, hitting harder," she said. "I worked a lot on weight training and conditioning, and I've gotten stronger."
Unfortunately for the Bruins, their setting grew weaker with the graduation of Nikki St. Clair.
"I can't imagine how many more kills Julie would have had if we would have been able to get the ball to her more," Brainer said.
Scott's offensive exploits drew most of the attention, but, Brainer said: "Everybody forgets how good she was on defense. She was one of the best defensive players in the county."
She also served at 90 percent efficiency. "She could serve to any spot on the court when she wanted to," Brainer said.