Poolesville win helps Warriors get in title swim

November 12, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

In years past, when it came time for Boonsboro's volleyball team to challenge Williamsport for Class 1A West supremacy in the big game, the Warriors always came up short.

In 2003, Boonsboro was swept aside in the 1A West final.

In 2004, the Wildcats and Warriors played a classic five-game match in the 1A West semifinals, but Boonsboro came up four points short.

History repeated itself in 2005, with Williamsport sweeping the Warriors in the final.

Boonsboro got another shot at the Wildcats on Friday night, but there was a significant difference - the Warriors had already proven themselves in a "big game" two nights earlier.

When Boonsboro (12-4) went on the road and knocked off previously undefeated Poolesville in four games last Wednesday, it gave the Warriors the confidence they needed to finally get past Williamsport and reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1985.


"In Poolesville, that was our toughest match to play," senior setter Tara Garver said. "Beating them was a huge step."

"That renewed everyone's spirits," first-year Boonsboro coach Andrea Parry said. "That's the best match we've played all year, against what I think is the best team we've played all year. That was huge for our confidence, and we had the momentum coming in (against Williamsport)."

Garver sparked the Warriors against Poolesville with a sensational effort, racking up 23 assists and 17 kills. After a slow start Friday, she found her game and led Boonsboro past Williamsport with 21 assists, 12 service points and seven kills. Garver had 11 service points, 10 assists and four kills in the final two games.

While Garver is the straw that stirs the Warriors, it's their balance that has them dreaming of a state title. Alison Griffith had 12 kills, Katie Gantz 11 kills and 10 blocks, and Brynn Arnone six kills across the front line, while Becca Demers added 13 assists.

"Gantz, Griffith, Tara, they just have some tough players and I think they won it as a team," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "Tara gives them the spark, but they come at you from everywhere."

Boonsboro's playoff journey will continue today at 6 p.m. at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum against Glenelg. The Class 1A final will be played Saturday at 5 p.m.

"I'm really confident we can go all the way," Parry said. "After Poolesville and after (Williamsport), we have the momentum."

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