Here we go again.
The Arundel volleyball team will take another stab at a state championship Monday night when it takes on Sherwood for the third time in as many years.
The Wildcats, who are undefeated on the year, will look for one more win to take home the school's first-ever championship in volleyball.
Arundel qualified for the title game with a convincing win over Eleanor Roosevelt in the semifinal, but coaches and players all said they will have to step up their game to come out on top Monday.
Sherwood has won the past two state titles, beating Arundel in last year's final and in the semifinal in 2010. The Warriors are led by senior Alex Holston, who tied a tournament record for kills with 37 in the team's previous win over Walter Johnson High. Holston has already committed to play for the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship in 2013.
Despite the tall challenge, the Arundel girls said they were looking forward to Monday's match.
"We're just really excited to have another chance at Sherwood," senior Ashlee Felton said. "Maybe the third time is a charm."
Arundel coach Ashley Yuscavage said the team entered this year knowing it was not as powerful as in past years. (The team graduated two strong hitters in Lindsay and Ashlyn Tapley.) But she said the team has
"This team is not the powerhouse in the same way it's been a powerhouse," she said. "This is a team that will push hard and make smart decisions and keep making enough smart decision. There's not much flashy about this team, but it's a team that works hard.
And, she said the team never questioned whether it was good enough, even though the media and other observers did.
"I don't think that's been a conversation we've had at all," she said. "This team was ready to go from the beginning ... this core group has been here before. This group is ready to take on this challenge for a while."
What: MPSSAA Class 4A Volleyball Championship, Arundel vs. Sherwood
When: Monday, 8 p.m.
Where: Ritchie Coliseum, College Park
Key Players to Watch: Senior middle hitter Ashlee Felton, junior setter Brittany Orr, junior outside hitter Allie Orr, senior middle hitter Shannon Kelly.
This article has been published on the Odenton-Severn Patch and Crofton Patch.