Volleyball truly is a family affair at Loudoun County (Leesburg, Va.)
where Jenica Brown is the head coach, her brother Jarod is a key
assistant and her father John does scouting of key future opponents.
combination clicked big-time this year while leading the Raiders to a
31-0 record and 49-game winning streak. The pinnacle came on Saturday in
Richmond, Va., when they notched their sixth state championship in the
last seven years with a 25-20, 23-25, 25-12, 25-23 victory over
Jamestown (27-2) during the Class 4A finals.
For her efforts, Jenica has been named the Capital One Bank Washington, D.C. Coach of the Week.
the most amazing feat was winning 88 of 90 sets — the best mark in her
12 years as head coach — and establishing the current squad as arguably
the best in school history.
National volleyball expert John Tawa
told MaxPreps, "This is a very, very good team. Lots of size and power.
Since Jarod joined his sister on staff eight years ago, they are
, a 5-foot-10 junior, paced the Raiders with 13 kills in the title game, followed closely by 6-3 sophomore Taylor Borup
with 12. Six-foot senior Maggie Phillips
had nine. Mandy Powers
, a 5-10 senior, was the assist leader with 33 and 6-2 senior Jane Feddersen
made six blocks.
The coaching honor caught Brown by surprise.
"I'm kind of in shock," she said. "I just have the satisfaction of giving my girls 100 percent of what I have."
is a 1997 graduate of Jefferson (Shenandoah Junction, W.Va.), where she
played two years of volleyball and was captain as a senior; and a 2001
graduate of Shepherd College, where she played four more years of
Her father, a former golf coach at Loudoun County,
has been a major influence on her career. His scouting alone gives the
team an edge that many others do not have.
convinced me to take the freshman position (at Loudoun) to help me get
my foot in the door for a teaching position," she said. "It had to do with my
knowledge of the game."
After one year as freshman coach,
however, she took over the varsity and accepted a major challenge
because the program was down at the time.
"It was a good way to build, because we had to start at the bottom," she said.
first year the Raiders finished around .500, and even that was a big
step. Her second year they reached the state semifinals. In 2006 they
were second in the state, but that left a bad taste in everyone's mouth
because by then they had a winning mentality.
"These girls were devastated and took it to heart as a huge challenge," said Brown. "They came back and dominated."
The result was a Class AA state title in 2007 and the team's first undefeated season.
Raiders will lose five seniors, and four of them will
be playing college volleyball in the fall. Five others return and —
with her dynasty fully established — coach Brown believes they have
potential to again return to the state finals in 2014.