In her fourth year as head volleyball coach at Damascus (Md.)
, Becky Ronquillo had never beaten powerhouse Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.).
no wonder, however, because Sherwood had won three consecutive Class 4A
state titles and was riding a 68-match winning streak when it played
host to Damascus on Thursday.
Surprisingly, Damascus won the
first two games by narrow margins of 25-19 and 25-23, but Sherwood
rebounded to tie the match with 30-28 and 25-21 wins. The heated match
went into a fifth-game tie-breaker and the underdog Hornets emerged with
a solid 15-6 upset victory.
For her once-beaten team's
outstanding performance, the 29-year-old Ronquillo has been named the
Capital One Bank Washington, D.C. Coach of the Week.
"My seniors have been waiting for this for three years," said Ronquillo. "I
worked them really hard this past week. It was 'who wants it more?' I had
a good feeling, like a calming. This rejuvenates my team for the
playoffs and kind of builds them up for the state. We are a small 3A
school and they are a large 4A. It's one of those big ones. A lot of my girls play club volleyball with them. It's a good
She noted that her girls are fighters and they took over in the decisive game.
"I don't know what happened to Sherwood, but my girls really elevated," she said.
at the highest level, senior Annika Schwartz
put down five of her
team-high 25 kills in the decisive fifth game. She also had 15 digs.
Senior setter Carly Marella
had 44 assists and another senior, Madison Wyatt
, had 15 kills.
The 5-foot-9 Ronquillo played volleyball,
basketball and softball at Troy in Pennsylvania, where she was volleyball captain
as a junior and senior and led her team in kills as a senior.
She noted, "I was a blocker. I always prided myself in blocking."
did not play in college, where she majored in education. She never set
out to be a coach, but in her second year at Damascus she took the JV
volleyball position and held it until the varsity job opened.
teaches special education and her simple explanation for entering the
coaching field is, "I always had the competitor in me."
She was hesitant to list the Sherwood upset as her biggest win.
up there," she conceded. "I'm hoping to get a bigger win come November. I look for this to be a stepping stone."