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All-Metro volleyball Coach of the Year: Ed Benish, Westminster

For The Baltimore Sun

For Ed Benish, a trip to the Class 3A State championship for his Westminster volleyball team was a nice surprise, but it wasn’t the main goal.

“My goal was just for us to get better and better every day,” Benish said. “I knew if we did that, the rest would take care of itself.”

Benish led the No. 4 Owls to the Carroll County title, a 16-2 record and the state final. It’s a long way from when he took over the program in 2013 and the team compiled a 4-12 record.

Westminster, which also features sophomore All-Metro first-team player Jilienne Widener, started to take off last year when it posted an 11-4 record. This year, the Owls didn’t sneak up on anyone but just continued to get better as the season went on. Their only slip-ups were to Liberty in the regular season and to Northern of Calvert County in the state championship game.

“We had an extremely tight-knit group of girls, and it was fun to coach them,” Benish said. “You could feel the trust in the gym every day at practice. I just kept telling them to get better and better each day, and they did.”

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