Ashburn, Va. — The Stone Bridge High School volleyball team fell into 5-1 holes to start the first and second sets, but the Bulldogs used a poised and already-battle-tested resilience to bounce back and sweep the Woodgrove Wolverines in straight sets—25-15, 25-21, 25-20—to open Potomac District play on September 27 in Ashburn.
“We have three [district games]this week and three next week, so they’re going to come fast,” Stone Bridge head coach Jill Raschiatore said. “Getting off to a positive start is hopefully going to take us further.”
After falling into an early 5-1 hole, Stone Bridge used excellent service from junior setter Trisha Guevara and junior defensive specialist Mariana Rosero to rally back and take the first set, 25-15.
Much like in the first set, the Bulldogs opened the second set in a 5-1 deficit before junior libero Caitlin O’Brien scored seven straight service points to put Stone Bridge up 8-5. The Bulldogs eventually opened up their lead to 24-17 before the Wolverines scored four straight points to pull within three points. At the end of the set, however, the Stone Bridge attack was too strong as they held off Woodgrove, 25-21.
Stone Bridge didn’t leave the third set to chance, leading from start to finish, 25-20.
“We’re struggling a little bit with consistency throughout the night and even consistency in individual sets,” Raschiatore said. “We have to work our way into being more consistent from start to finish.”
The win marks the first in the Potomac District for the Bulldogs (1-0, 11-2), who put together a challenging non-district schedule to open their season and will rely on the experience they gained in those early season games to push through the meat of their district schedule.
“The goal is always to challenge yourself so you’re seeing the fastest balls you’re going to see, you’re seeing different tempos, and different varieties of sets that you can see to try to prepare yourself,” Raschiatore said. “Hopefully that will benefit us down the road, because we’ve been there before and gotten through it.”
With two more district games scheduled for this week, the Bulldogs hope to finish the first week of the district season the same way it started: on a winning streak.
“There’s a lot of really talented teams in this district, so we have to be prepared to play at a high level every night. We have to be consistent from the first volley to the last volley,” Raschiatore said. “We’re just going to keep working on that day by day and set by set.”