In case it wasn’t clear what the Independent School League AA volleyball title means to Flint Hill, Coach Carrol DeNure brought out a white board at the Huskies’ last practice before the championship match against Maret on Sunday.
An ISL AA championship, DeNure said, is the first jewel in Flint Hill’s “triple crown,” followed by a Metro City championship against the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion, then a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association title.
The Huskies accomplished step one on Sunday after beating Maret in straight sets, 25-7, 25-9, 25-17, at Episcopal in Alexandria.
It was among the most dominant matches Flint Hill (24-3) has played all year.
“Some people take it for granted that Flint Hill is going to be there every year, but I know the hard work and sacrifice that it takes to get to this,” DeNure said. “It’s still an expectation for us every year.”
The Huskies will go for their fourth straight “triple crown” this year and travel to Holy Cross for the Metro City title game Monday at 6 p.m. The VISAA tournament starts later in the week.
Flint Hill is ready, sophomore setter Krissy O’Malley said after beating Maret.
“We have the fire in us to look forward, but we have to be mature enough to take care of these kinds of games,” she said.
Over three sets, the Huskies trailed for only three points Sunday, after a few balls flew out of bounds off overzealous attacks to open the third game. No problem. Flint Hill jumped back out to an eight-point lead before long.
O’Malley had eight of her 25 assists in the final game. Siron Hardy had three of her game-high nine kills. Eight Huskies registered one kill in the match.
“It was definitely fun to be the setter in this game,” O’Malley said. “Our offense, it was going.”
Middle blocker Sinclaire Jones recorded a match-high 12 kills for the Snails. Setter Sophia Bernstein had 30 assists, another match high.
Jones danced around the team huddle with the championship banner after the match.
Madeira dropped divisions after a difficult 2014 season following the championship-match loss to Flint Hill. Then Coach Kelly Picardi arrived at the McLean school a year ago and sought to revamp the volleyball program. With Bernstein quarterbacking the Snails’ attack, Madeira is an ISL champion.
The Snails dropped the third set after a 6-0 run by Holton-Arms that included four Madeira errors. Picardi took a timeout midway through.
“We might not win this one,” she told her team, “but let’s be confident and build some momentum for the fourth game.”
They sprinted to a 14-point lead that put the match away.
Saints fall short in IAAM-B
St. Mary’s-Annapolis fell Saturday to Maryvale in the Independent Athletic Association of Maryland championship in straight sets, 25-15, 25-22, 25-20.
A win would have given St. Mary’s its first volleyball title.
Senior Alexa Poss led the Saints with 12 kills.
Chavez wins D.C. charters
The Eagles rallied from two sets down to take the final three games and the match on Friday.
They will enter the D.C. State Athletic Association tournament as the 12-seed and face 5-seed Model on Tuesday at 8 p.m.