Girls’ soccer, volleyball win new fall county championships

Spirts+were+high+after+the+girls+soccer+and+volleyball+teams+won+the+first+county+championships+in+their+respective+sports.

Photos by Alton Lightsey and Erik Kleinbussink

Spirts were high after the girls’ soccer and volleyball teams won the first county championships in their respective sports.

This fall, MCPS added a county championship for soccer, field hockey and volleyball. The championship is popular with students, especially after the volleyball and girls’ soccer teams claimed trophies.

Before this year, MCPS held county championships for certain sports such as wrestling, tennis and team handball. For each sport, the two teams with the best records in the county play a single game to determine a county champion. However, the two schools have to be from different divisions. For example, we couldn’t play in the county championship against Churchill in any sport, because the schools are in the same division.

The championship game is played at a predetermined location, to minimize planning difficulties. For volleyball, the game was played at Quince Orchard and the field hockey game was played at Paint Branch. The soccer game was initially scheduled to be at Seneca Valley, but due to thunder, the game was played at Walter Johnson, a day later than planned. 

County championships were a great addition to our season. Although we didn’t make it that far in the playoffs, we did win counties, which brought us together and allowed us to prove ourselves as a team.”

— Rizel Serrano

County championships are backed by most students because the outcome of the game doesn’t affect playoff eligibility or seeding. Senior Rizel Serrano plays on the soccer team and supports the championship. “County championships were a great addition to our season. Although we didn’t make it that far in the playoffs, we did win counties, which brought us together and allowed us to prove ourselves as a team,” Serrano said.

Two years ago, a vote was taken of the coaches of various sports to decide whether or not a county championship should be held for other sports. Volleyball head coach Mary Malinauskas took part in the vote, initially voting against the championship for volleyball, due to fear of injuries before the postseason. “After playing in the county championship, I think it was really valuable. We had a bye for the first week of playoffs, and honestly, if it hadn’t been for the championship, I would have tried to arrange a scrimmage with Sherwood. If I had to vote now, I would actually vote for (the championship),” Malinauskas said.

The volleyball championship took place on Nov. 2, and pitted us against the undefeated Sherwood. The game was close, but after five intense sets and a final set comeback, we were victorious, 3-2. 

The soccer championship took place on Oct. 26, with Wootton pitted against Poolesville. The team was hungry for the win after losing to Poolesville in their last meeting, and won the game 3-0.

Sophomore Naomi Esterowitz spectated both games, and likes the new county championships. “I think that there should be county championships next year because it gives teams a chance to win a trophy, even if they may not make it far in state and regional championships,” Esterowitz said.

Coming this winter and spring, there will be new county championships for more sports including baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse and gymnastics.