B-CC Volleyball Team Rides Early Lead, Beats Einstein
The Barons got out to a 23-0 lead on Thursday.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School girls volleyball team led 23-0 at Einstein when the Titans scored their first point of Thursday's match, finally allowing the team's biggest home crowd of the season an opportunity to applaud.
The Barons (6-6) won in three sets (25-4, 25-14, 25-22). Yet that first Einstein point remained a pivotal moment.
For the remainder of the match, both teams showed the sort of play that has come to represent them this fall as they prepare for the last few days of the regular season.
B-CC coach Beth Radovsky wanted more of the focus her players brought in their dominant first set, something she said has been missing at times.
"Skill wise, we have a lot of talent. We do," Radovsky said. "But like you kind of saw [Thursday], mentally we kind of break down sometimes, playing teams that maybe aren't as talented as us."
Titan coach Emily Hallam eventually got improved effort from her team. Einstein (2-11) led 17-16 in the third set, but couldn't keep up from there on out, a familiar theme for the Titans.
"We're a team that's always been on the brink," Hallam said. "We've always been there, 95 percent. But for whatever reason it hasn't clicked. Getting that last five percent has been really hard."
According to Hallam, it was Einstein's second annual "Dig Pink Night" to raise money for breast cancer research that brought out a larger crowd than usual. That could have played a role in her team's slow start.
"There were some nerves involved," Hallam said. "Most of these girls went through it last year. But, when you only have a game like this once a year, maybe they were…over-thinking B-CC."
The Barons did their part to take advantage of the Titans' early stumble. The group, which Radovsky labeled as the most talented that she has coached, served well and won points without many long rallies.
That momentum seemed to slow later in the match, but Radovsky said B-CC had enough experience to weather any struggles.
The Barons have four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores, and will likely bring up two sophomores from the junior varsity team when the playoffs arrive. Senior captains Meredith Powers and Alicia Russo, along with junior captain Sierra Hahn-Ventrell, made key contributions on Thursday.
"All three of them are very different. They bring many different things to the table," Radovsky said. "All three are great leaders. They try hard to bring the rest of the team up. Sometimes, you can't really do it, but they're trying."
Radovsky hopes that attitude and a little bit of the type of play B-CC used to take a 23-0 lead on Thursday become the norm for her team.
If it does, she thinks the Barons have a chance to go further in the playoffs than their regular season record might indicate.
"I feel like we could, talent wise, go far," Radovsky said. "But, it's up to them if they want to bring their mental game as a team."
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