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HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Black–Hawks claim first volleyball title in school’s history

The Brooke Point volleyball team didn’t want a random drawing to be its claim to glory this season, so Black–Hawks coach Terri Starliper had her players commit to doing more.

The day after her team was drawn as the No. 1 seed for the Conference 15 tournament, Starliper had her players sign a petition that stated they would not be satisfied with that. They would play at a championship level and earn the respect that comes with winning it all.

With tears flowing from many of the players’ eyes Wednesday night, the Black–Hawks were content in accomplishing just that.

Brooke Point claimed a 15–25, 27–25, 25–20, 25–18 victory over second-seeded Massaponax in the tournament championship game. It’s the school’s first-ever district/conference title for volleyball and a major accomplishment for a program that was among the worst in the area only a few years ago.

“That was kind of our driving force this whole time is we needed to prove that we didn’t just get drawn out of a hat to be No. 1. We truly are No. 1,” said Starliper, whose team finished in a three-way tie for the regular-season championship.

In the moments after the trophy presentation, senior Jasmine Jones held onto the gold award as tightly as she could as she ran from anyone trying to get a hold of it.

She, along with fellow seniors Desiree Claxton, Cori Jacobsen, Emily Smith and Kailah Boateng, went through some tough times with the program, but the payoff was oh so sweet as they choked back tears of joy from their major accomplishment.

“It’s honestly unreal. I can’t believe that we did it. It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m so proud of this team. We worked hard, and we deserve it,” said Jones, who had 12 kills, 11 blocks and two aces.

Claxton had 12 kills and 20 digs, and Jacobsen had 15 digs, as the Black–Hawks overcame a poor first game to sweep the final three sets in a highly competitive match.

“It got real [after that loss in the first game], because we thought, ‘Hey we could lose this if we don’t get our act together,’ and we did. It really woke us up,” Claxton said.

Brooke Point (14–10) earned a first-round bye in the upcoming 5A-North region tournament, and it will host a second-round match Tuesday.

Massaponax (17–10) will host a first-round region match Saturday against a yet-to-be determined opponent.

The Panthers were left nursing their wounds after their second loss to the Black–Hawks in the last two weeks, and though they fell short of reaching their goal of winning a conference championship, the motivation is still there to come back strong and make a run in the region playoffs.

“I believe that Massaponax volleyball is headed in the right direction and we’ve still got a lot of volleyball left to play this year,” Panthers coach Joe Cox said.

Massaponax senior outside hitter Rachel Jankovits had 13 kills and 13 digs, and senior middle hitter Colleen Beaver, who was back in the lineup after missing Monday’s semifinals with a concussion, had seven kills and three blocks.

Panthers freshman Emma Swope had seven kills and two blocks, and Erica Cunningham had 32 assists.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 3, NORTH STAFFORD 1

The Wildcats earned their first-ever region playoff berth with a 25–23, 23–25, 25–13, 25–22 win over the Wolverines on Wednesday in the Conference 15 third-place game.

“This is wonderful. I think they were coming off six wins total last year, so we had some ground to make up and things to learn, but I could not have asked for a better group of girls,” Wildcats coach Stacey Marsh said.

Mountain View (12–13) was led by Bri Biorn (12 kills), Kate Allen (10 kills), Brittany Bullis (31 digs) and Suzanne Weisband (11 blocks). The Wildcats will play a 5A-North region playoff game Saturday against an undetermined opponent.

North Stafford (8–12) was led by Ebonie Hicks (two kills, two blocks), Capri Clark (five kills) and Amber Wood (three kills, 11 assists).

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442

nwarters@freelancestar.com

 

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