COLLEGE PARK -- The Broadneck Bruins looked a little lost in the second game of their Class 4A state semifinal with Urbana Wednesday, so they went to their experience. Kourtney Salvarola responded.
Salvarola, a senior who has played varsity all four years, contributed some key kills and helped the Bruins record a 25-22, 14-25, 25-21, 25-18 win over Frederick's Urbana (14-4) Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland.
The Bruins will play for their third consecutive Class 4A title on Saturday. They will meet Magruder of Montgomery County in Saturday's 5 p.m. game, also at Ritchie Coliseum. The Colonels swept Bowie in three straight games to earn their second trip ever to the finals (2004 was the other).
After winning the first game Wednesday, the Bruins began to unravel a bit in the second. The Hawks played great defense, but Broadneck committed several unforced errors en route to a 25-14 loss.
The Bruins (16-2) continued to struggle early in the third game. They committed four serving errors early, but used five kills by Salvarola to finally catch the Hawks at 15-15. The Bruins got aces by Ally Graf (12 digs), Carlee Rossiter (39 assists), and Adrienne Gebele (13 kills) down the stretch to take the game, 25-21.
Broadneck jumped out to an early five-point lead in the third game, and was never seriously threatened.
"Coach called timeouts [in the third game], and we were really frustrated with ourselves," said Salvarola (14 kills, 17 digs), who will play softball at the University of South Florida next year. "Once we realized what we were doing wrong, we started to play better and we were fine."
Hawks hitter Megan Kent said Urbana wasn't prepared for Salvarola's power.
"We hadn't come across anyone like her all season," said Kent (13 kills, 9 digs). "She was great. Once she started swinging we just weren't prepared."
"It never gets old," said Bruins coach Scott Graf, who will coach in his second state title game. "These ladies have really impressed me in a good way this season. They deserve all the credit."
In the first game, Magruder (19-0) survived a threat from Bowie (16-1) in the first game, but held on for a 3-0 sweep, 25-21, 25-8, 25-17. Senior Michelle Fowle led Magruder with 13 kills.
Magruder def. Bowie 25-21, 25-8, 25-17
Broadneck def. Urbana 25-22, 14-25, 25-21, 25-19