By Dennis Atwood -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Brentsville and Warren County were each seeking its first Evergreen District volleyball win on Monday night.
The Tigers gave no indication that they were 0-4, and the Wildcats didn't look much like the squad that extended Skyline to five sets in losing Thursday night, as it took Brentsville only 55 minutes to sweep the match 3-0 (25-17, 25-8, 25-11).
Brentsville's attack included a 17-point and a 13-point run.
The first set was the only evenly contested one of the match.
The Wildcats gained a 6-3 lead, with all their points coming on Brentsville errors. The Tigers then got on course with a 7-0 run as senior setter Samantha Gough held serve for six of the points.
Warren County setter Rachel Cerrentani scored her only kill and ace of the match and Brooke Magalis notched a kill to leave the Wildcats trailing 13-a kill to leave the Wildcats trailing 13-12.
The Tigers then foreshadowed things to come, mounting a 7-1 run on two kills and an ace by Emily Kroll and a kill by Jennifer Cogswell to stretch their lead to 20-13.
A Brooke Rutherford kill, followed by a Robin Mikulak ace gave Warren County its 16th and 17th points, before the Wildcats gave the Tigers their 24th and 25th points on a service error and an attack error.
In the second set with the score tied, Brentsville's Megan Dunn (five kills, five aces, and two blocks for the match) employed a distinctive multiple hard bounce routine as she warmed up for a turn at the service line.
She had lots of opportunities to use the routine, with an average of five to seven bounces, and a high of 12, in holding serve for an amazing 17 consecutive points, including four aces.
"It's just my style, it keeps me concentrated and keeps my head in the match," Dunn said. "We haven't had runs this big all season."
Brentsville (5-10, 1-4) earned six other offensive points, and Warren County committed seven attack errors during the run.
The Wildcats (1-15, 0-4) managed only two offensive points in the set. Their eighth and final point came on a Brentsville violation, followed by the set-winning kill by the Tigers' Katilyn Riordan.
"[After set two] I told them that we just needed to be on our toes and keep playing and it's not over," Brentsville coach Marsha Hermes said. "And, that we needed to win three sets to win the match. So they weren't allowed to let down."
Tied at 5 in the third set, Gough came on as Dunn's tsunami twin for the Tigers and held serve for a 13-point run. Gough (five kills, six assists and three aces) used only two or three bounces to ready her service strokes and launched two aces during the run. She capped off her evening with the match-winning kill.
The Tigers scored eight other offensive points during Gough's run, including five kills by 6-foot-1 senior middle hitter Johanna Hummel, who totaled a match-high 11 kills.
"We came in early today, for being Monday, and warming up," Wildcats coach Cathy Brill said. "We had a little trouble receiving a couple of their servers and things just snowballed. I have give credit to Brentsville. They wanted it and they played well. When they had some of their serving runs, we had some of our better hitters on the bench, because of the way the rotation worked."