Ashburn, Va. — Led by a core group of seniors, a couple really talented sophomores, and an energetic setter, it was just a matter of time before the Briar Woods High School volleyball team started to click. After dropping three of their first four matches to open their 2021 campaign, the Falcons showed off a tremendous amount of energy, poise, and grit in fending off a resilient Broad Run team to earn their second straight win on September 21 in Ashburn.
Despite Broad Run successfully defending four match points, Briar Woods finally secured the win over their rival—25-20, 25-23, 26-24.
“Tonight was about controlling our side of the net. We can’t control what they’re doing, but we want our girls to play level, balanced volleyball,” Briar Woods head coach Joe Riggio said. “We have a lot of experienced players on the team, so we’re just looking to capitalize on our talent.”
After quickly jumping out to a 10-2 lead, it looked like the Falcons would cruise to a first set win. At 24-14, Briar Woods was seemingly in complete control, but Broad Run wasn’t ready to quit just yet. The Spartans proceeded to rally off six straight points, before Briar Woods senior outside hitter Jamie Pak put away a kill to wrap up the first set, 25-20.
In the second set, Broad Run forced a Briar Woods timeout after taking an 11-10 lead, the first time the Spartans had led in the entire match.
“Broad Run did a great job using their energy to rally back,” Riggio said. “We felt their energy was starting to engulf us, so we just needed to take a step back.”
The Falcons and Spartans continued to battle coming out of the time out until an eventual 20-20 tie. From there, Briar Woods bared down to win the second set, 25-23.
Much like in the first set, Briar Woods looked to be in complete control late in the third, but as they had done throughout the night, Broad Run wouldn’t go down without a fight. Trailing 24-20, the Spartans rallied to tie the game at 24-24, before Briar Woods senior outside hitter Sydney Prezioso put away back-to-back kills to earn the Falcons the win, 26-24.
“Sydney had made a mistake earlier, but we believed in her,” Riggio said. “We wanted to give her the ball, and she took care of business.”
After starting the season 1-3, the Falcons (0-0, 3-3) are finding some momentum of late which should pay dividends as they head into Potomac District play starting September 27.
“We’re heading into district play next week, so tonight, we wanted to work on some things like our blocking, and we moved in the right direction tonight,” Riggio said. “We have a lot of talent, a lot of great personalities, and a lot of energy, and I think we’re going to be peaking at the right time.”