The Arundel High volleyball completed a perfect regular season Thursday with a sweep of Severna Park, and will now begin its quest for a third straight regional crown.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and fended off several Falcon rallies for a 3-0 victory and the Anne Arundel County championship.
The team will now await the announcement of the bracket for the MPSSAA state championship. Last year, Arundel fell in the state title game. In 2010, it lost in the state semifinal.
Arundel coach Ashley Yuscavage downplayed the significance of the perfect record, knowing that the team has its sights set on the big prize.
"Everyone goes into the playoffs with a clean slate. But it certainly doesn't hurt. It gives us some more confidence, and we could always use more confidence," she said.
While the team lost some of its biggest hitters to graduation, Yuscavage and her players said they've excelled through good movement, defense and "scrappiness."
Arundel's win on Thursday was convincing, and it belied the fact that Severna Park had just a single loss on the season coming in. The Wildcats started strong, running out to a 20-6 lead and eventually securing the first game 25-15.
"I think we served really agressively in the first game, and we also blocked really well," Yuscavage said.
In the second game, Arundel led for most of the way until Severna Park clawed back to tie things at 17-17. But Arundel won eight of the last nine points to secure the game 25-18.
The third game was in doubt for most of the way, but Arundel stayed in control and finished off the Falcons with a 25-22 win.
"Our goal is to go win states, and this is a big step forward," senior Ashlee Felton said. "This year, we're really motivated and I'm really hoping our enthusiasm, our skills and how close we are as a team stays strong."
Both Arundel and Severna Park are likely to get first-round byes in the east region of the state volleyball tournament. The bracket will be announced Monday.
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