Advertisement
High School sports

Broadneck volleyball displays maturity, confidence in 3-0 sweep of Old Mill

With Tuesday’s match being just its second of the year, Broadneck might’ve had a slow start to its schedule. The same cannot be said for the players.

The veteran-led team conducted business as usual, levying long serving runs and a plethora aces and kills to sweep Old Mill, 25-11, 25-17, 25-11.

Advertisement

The Bruins (2-0) quashed rallies while spinning out their own, outlasting Old Mill on most volleys in a good test before taking on rival Arundel next week.

Broadneck players celebrate a point during Tuesday's match at Old Mill.

From the very first set, Bruins like Casey Gish (six aces), Madeline Stewart (four aces), Hannah Waters and Bella Rubino (12 kills) scorched the floor with points.

Advertisement

Three of those funneling shots back at the Patriots’ side are seniors, seasoned in county championships, winning seasons and state berths over the last three years. Gish, a junior, represents the crew that skews both younger and less experienced. And yet without a roster in front of you, you might not have been able to tell which was which.

Even Old Mill noticed the Bruins’ chemistry and will use it as an example for their own young members.

Broadneck's Bella Rubino returns the ball past two Old Mill defenders during Tuesday's match.

“They showed a lot of confidence and trust in each other and that’s one of the things we’re lacking right now,” Patriots coach Bethany Hayden said. “We have our skills. We have what it takes to be a good team. We just don’t have the belief in ourselves yet that we can do it, we can be one of these competitive schools.”

The Patriots did stay above water, strengthened by points from outside hitters Kendall Lee and Eva Mourog, but the kills cleared Broadneck’s defense too infrequently to put the pressure on. The Bruins remained calm when Old Mill struck a point. There were never two in a row, not until Broadneck eclipsed its 20th point.

“When they land a point or two, it’s just easy to keep a smile on your face and keep a positive attitude,” Rubino said. “Especially because we had that lead, but that’s also just something I try to do as a leader and a senior — uplift my teammates.”

The same could be said of the crew at the net. Though the team collectively recorded only four blocks, stalwart defense tripped up the Patriots countless times in all three sets and was the origin of most of Tuesday’s kills.

With as much practice as Broadneck’s had, Bruin coach Tracey Regalbuto would certainly hope so.

“We work on net control and blocking a lot, so it’s our expectation that they’re disciplined at the net and always ready,” Regalbuto said. “I feel we do a good job at that.”

Advertisement

The Bruins’ cruised in the first set, but the second set was a tad bumpier. All the smoke that plumed from the Bruins’ fiery offense settled on their side of the court, clogging the floor up with errors. Old Mill took full advantage, building a little 6-2 lead.

Varsity Highlights

Varsity Highlights

Weekly

Get the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.

Then the smoke cleared.

Junior middle blocker Mya Durham, who missed a huge portion of last fall to injury, registered a kill and some returned points to help Broadneck tie and clear Old Mill’s control of the set, buoyed by Stewart’s points from the service line.

Broadneck's Sydney Lawrence dives for a dig during Tuesday's match at Old Mill.

By the time the Patriots eked another point, the Bruins had resumed control, 11-7.

While the Patriots kept consistently within single digits of their guests, that streak stamped out even Old Mill’s best offensive efforts late in the set.

A 5-1 run at the end and a kill pounding from Gish’s fist sealed a 25-17 victory and 2-0 overall lead.

Advertisement

That energy only seemed to crescendo as Broadneck confirmed its victory in the third set. Each block earned cheers. Rubino’s face twisted into a roar when her kill landed, as did Waters when her ace did the same right after, making things 10-4. Junior varsity screamed from the bleachers when Delaney Bilderback took her first-ever varsity entry on the court late and even louder when Bilderback struck her first kill.

“We have a lot of fresh talent and I’m loving the way that they’re embracing their new role on the team,” Rubino said. “The energy is really great for us.”


Advertisement