Prep notebook: Sherwood volleyball loses for first time since 2009 -- Gazette.Net







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Not that anybody could have known it at the time, but what looked like an innocuous, run-of-the-mill win over Watkins Mill High School for Sherwood on Sept. 3, 2010 actually served as the launching pad for one of the most venerated winning streaks in high school volleyball.

After that win, 67 teams tried their hand to best Sherwood and zero succeeded. Three state titles were earned, wins piled up and statistics verged on the absurd.

Finally, however, the streak was undone. A deep and talented Damascus went into Olney on Thursday and did what no team had done since Thomas S. Wootton on Nov. 6, 2009: it defeated the Warriors. It may have taken five sets, and it may have taken every last swing Annika Schwartz’s right shoulder had in it, but the Swarmin’ Hornets stole away with a 3-2 victory.

“This has been my and our goal since freshman year,” said Schwartz, who recorded a match-high 21 kills. “We wanted this. We are a small 3A school and we proved we can beat a great big 4A school and one of the best programs.”

Predictably, Sherwood shrugged it off as a loss, nothing more. Coach Brian McCarty has been preaching all year long that the gaudy streak was just a nice little resumé booster. After all, there’s a more important streak still intact: three consecutive state championships.

Winston Churchill defeated Damascus on Monday.

A new look for Hillard

Winston Churchill’s Kaitlyn Hillard established early on that she was one of the county’s more talented hitters with 144 kills in 15 matches. Standing 6-foot-1, the position is a natural fit. So imagine the surprise John F. Kennedy had on Oct. 16 when Hillard suited up in a black libero uniform for a fun little change of pace for the Bulldogs. Apparently being 6-foot-1 didn’t mean she couldn’t get the job done, as “even the ref said what a good libero she was,” coach Cindy Hillard said.

“They were all like ‘take a picture, take a picture!’” Cindy Hillard wrote in an email. “The whole team had a good time with it.”

Another Sherwood streak ends

Not that it’s of any comparison to its volleyball counterparts, but the Sherwood field hockey team’s winning streak was also put to a close on Oct. 16. The Warriors were vying for their second consecutive undefeated regular season — last year was the first such in school history — recording 28 straight regular season wins in the last two seasons. Walter Johnson won, 2-1, on goals from Mackenzie Johnson and Catherine Royston.

The loss is of little concern to the Warriors, though. They still received a first round bye in the playoffs and will host Paint Branch on Thursday night.

How they rank


1. Academy of the Holy Cross

2. Poolesville

3. Winston Churchill

4. Sherwood

5. Damascus


1. Thomas S. Wootton

2. Walter Johnson

3. Winston Churchill

4. Walt Whitman

5. Quince Orchard

Field hockey

1. Thomas S. Wootton

2. Walter Johnson

3. Sherwood

4. Stone Ridge

5. Winston Churchill