Freshmen step up for 1-0 league mark
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
It’s Marissa DeHoyos’ first season as the coach of the Brentwood High School volleyball team so she’s getting to experience everything for the first time.
Last week, in her team’s first match, she got a taste of the decades-old phenomenon of Brentwood vs. Maplewood. In the eardrum-splitting confines of a crowded MRH gym, the Eagles lost in two sets but not before taking the second one to 25-24.
“There was a ginormous crowd,” said DeHoyos. “It was so loud Erica [assistant coach Erica Robertson] and I couldn’t hear each other talk.”
This week, one night after her first win as a high school varsity head coach, a painless match against Gateway, she experienced the more modern rivalry of Brentwood vs. Crossroads — the two teams that always seem to be challenging for the South Central AA Conference title.
Brentwood was supposed to lose. The Current came to town undefeated in five matches, having beaten MRH twice and no doubt eager to avenge their two 2014 losses to the Eagles. They had reasons to be confident. Gone were the five BHS seniors who led the Eagles to 10-0 in the league. With senior Tori Brotherton away on a school trip, Brentwood’s lineup had more freshmen (three) than seniors (two). One of the freshmen, Meghan Haug, was replacing Brotherton in the crucial setter position.
“I was getting used to Tori’s sets and now it’s like a whole new game with a freshman coming in,” said hitter Caroline Snare.
“I’ve heard that Crossroads is good,” said Haug. “I was nervous.”
And to top it off, the Current has five players 5-foot-10 and above. Brentwood has one.
The storyline started out as some expected. In the first set, Brentwood fell behind 5-1 and never recovered, losing by 9. The Eagles trailed 19-14 in the second set but went on a 9-3 run to take their first lead of the night, 23-22. Crossroads tied it twice more but lost 26-24 to open the door to a third set.
The Eagles kept the momentum. After taking a 6-5 lead in set 3 they never again trailed. During their set-and-a-half surge the new lineup started to gel — Haug’s setting, hits by Emma Holmes and Gabby Gombas from the outside and Kate Gilmore, Caroline Snare and Maggie Callihan from the inside, and back-row rescues from Maddy Dorenbusch and Jenny Laseter.
As the BHS football team cheered loudly from the balcony, key plays late in the third set included a block at the net by Gilmore, a diving save by Dorenbusch, an ace by Snare and several tips over front-row hitters by Holmes. The winning point was a hit by Holmes that was headed into the net when Gilmore tipped it over a Crossroads player to an unguarded spot on the floor.
“I bumped it but she tipped it over,” said Holmes.
“Emma bumped it up and I knew it was going into the net,” said Gilmore. “I would love to say it was planned but it wasn’t.”
DeHoyos was relieved to see her young, juggled lineup rise to the occasion.
“Megan stepped right in and did just fine,” the coach said. “We decided we’d need Caroline for a passer today so we kept her just in the middle and we had Meghan set. Maddy was another freshman who really stepped up.”
Snare liked that her team pulled together when things looked bleak.
“In the beginning we were just kind of off,” she said. “In the end we came together as a team. We were just like a family on the court.”
“I think Crossroads started getting tired,” remarked BHS assistant coach Erica Robertson. “They started to fall apart.”
Added DeHoyos, “They had so many service errors, which helped us gain a lead from the beginning. The first two games we were behind in the beginning and playing catchup. But then because they had the service errors in the third game we got that nice lead.”
In the Gateway match, Holmes served 12 points in a row to seal the victory.
BHS varsity roster
Seniors: Tori Brotherton, Kate Gilmore, Emma Holmes
Sophomores: Anna Blomstrom, Gabby Gombas, Jenny Laseter, Caroline Snare, Caroline Vandervoort
Freshmen: Maggie Callihan, Madelyn Dorenbusch, Meghan Haug
2015 BHS Volleyball Results
Dual meet record as of Sept. 3: 2-1
Lost to MRH 25-20, 26-24
Beat Gateway Science 25-7, 25-13
Beat Crossroads 16-25, 26-24, 25-21
Sept. 4, 5 p.m., at Lutheran North
Sept. 8, 5 p.m., vs. Affton at BHS
Sept. 9, 5 p.m., vs. Clayton at BHS
Sept. 10, 5 p.m., at Jennings
Sept. 11, 5 p.m., vs. Hancock at BHS