Jenica Brown has built Loudoun County (Leesburg, Va.)
into not only a state — but also a national — volleyball power. For
her outstanding unbeaten season in 2013, she has been named the Capital
One Bank Washington, D.C. Coach of the Year.
finished the season with a perfect 31-0 record, a 49-match winning streak
and their sixth Class 4A state championship in the past seven years.
Even so, their most amazing feat may have been winning 88 of 90 sets.
Their total domination earned them the No. 12 position in the
final MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings
When told of her latest
honor (she also was a recent coach of the week selection
), she told
MaxPreps, "That's awesome. For volleyball, it's easy to be overlooked.
You have to make a strong stand to be seen. For the last seven years we
have kept moving forward. When it came to high-pressure situations, we
didn't falter or get down on ourselves."
Brown receives great
support from her brother and chief assistant coach, Jarod, and her
father, John, who scouts key opponents. Loudoun County has an amazing
222-11 record since Jarod came aboard.
The Raiders will lose five key seniors through graduation in the spring: 6-foot-2 middle hitter Jane Feddersen
(Virginia Commonwealth), 6-0 outside hitter Maggie Phillips
(U.S. Naval Academy), libero Kelsey Slack
, 5-10 setter Mandy Powers
(UNC Asheville) and defensive specialist Kelsey Anderson
had 109 blocks and was 40.9 percent in hitting. Phillips and Slack each
had 40 service aces, while Slack also had 350 digs. Powers had 641
However, they also will return five of their top 10 to
make a run at another state championship. And one of them is 6-3
sophomore outside hitter Taylor Borup
, a UNC commitment who led the Raiders with 320 kills.
Could there be another state championship in 2014?
"It's always our goal to work hard and improve everybody's
skills and get to the state finals again," said Brown. "Next year we have to work
really, really hard and dig deep."
The long winning streak will probably provide extra pressure.
"For the past four or five years, it's been that way —
everybody trying to give us their best game," said Brown. "We don't expect to win
every game. We're not afraid to lose the streak."