Sea­hawks stay un­de­feated

Raiders make it tough in in­ter­county matchup

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Bob Hough

Tues­day night’s vol­ley­ball match be­tween South River and Atholton was the kind of con­test or­ga­niz­ers had in mind when they came up with the new sched­ule agree­ment be­tween Anne Arun­del and Howard coun­ties.

In a matchup be­tween two of The Bal­ti­more Sun’s top five teams in the metro area, No. 1 South River dropped the first set but fought back to win, 29-31, 25-17, 30-28, 25-23.

Though the host Sea­hawks won in four sets, No. 5 Atholton had four set points in the third be­fore fall­ing and ral­lied late in the fourth to make South River sweat out the fi­nal set and match.

“We won all three of our matches with the Howard County teams, but it wasn’t easy by any means,” South River coach Mau­reen Carter said. The Raiders “are very good. They were very re­lent­less and weren’t mak­ing many mis­takes.”

South River (6-0) also de­feated Howard County pow­ers Cen­ten­nial and River Hill and will now face a sched­ule of pri­mar­ily Anne Arun­del County teams, ex­cept for Du­laney next week. The Sea­hawks will play Broad­neck, Arun­del and Sev­erna Park over a 12-day stretch to­ward the end of the sea­son.

“We’ll see them late in the sea­son, but that’s OK,” Carter said. “We as coaches all like play­ing the Howard County teams be­cause they’re very good.”

Atholton showed why it’s re­garded as one of the top teams in the area when it ral­lied to win the first set. The Raiders trailed by as many as five points but fought back from an 18-15 deficit to take a 21-18 lead on the strength of Elise Park’s serv­ing. The teams traded leads to­ward the end of the set, but Lisa Zoch’s kill fi­nally gave the first set to the Raiders, 31-29, on their fourth set South River coach Mau­reen Carter con­grat­u­lates her team af­ter the match. “They are very good,” Carter said of Atholton. “They were very re­lent­less and weren’t mak­ing many mis­takes.” point. South River also had a chance to put the set away, but Sa­man­tha Miller’s kill kept the Raiders alive.

Atholton (2-2) de­feated Sev­erna Park and fell to Arun­del and South River, and will head into Howard County play when it faces Glenelg on Thurs­day.

“We love this. We were lucky be­cause we fin­ished so high in the sea­son last year,” Atholton coach Rob Moy said. “We ended up play­ing tough teams, but that’s what we want. We want to play those tough teams so we can pre­pare for the play­offs.”

Sa­van­nah Siegrist led a bal­anced South River at­tack with 26 kills and was one of three Sea­hawks who had at least 10. She added18 digs and went11-for-13 serv­ing with an ace. She had four of her kills in the fourth set, in­clud­ing one that put the Sea­hawks up 24-22. Af­ter a block from Zoch kept the match alive, the Sea­hawks clinched the match on a ser­vice er­ror.

“Sa­van­nah has been very clutch hit­ting and she’s very high per­cent­age on the out­side,” Carter said. “She’s lead­ing the way, but I feel like we have a very well-rounded team this year.”

Sarah Man­der­son fol­lowed with 14 kills and five digs and went 19-for-20 with three aces, while Erin Can­ter had four late kills in the fourth set and fin­ished with 10. Set­ter Emily Spe­ciale had 52 as­sists and went 14-for-15 and de­fen­sive spe­cial­ist Madisyn Jones had a team-high 29 digs and went 13-for-13.

South River has fielded teams that con­tended for county and re­gion cham­pi­onships each year, but this year’s team ap­pears to be loaded with even more tal­ent than some of Carter’s best squads.

“In some of the past years we’ve had tal­ent, but it wasn’t as spread out,” Carter said. “I think I have a lot of young tal­ent this year.”

JOSHUA MCKER­ROW/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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