Catonsville shows ‘fire’ in sweep
No. 11 Comets win tense match vs. Dulaney, will play Sherwood in regional final
No one needed to look at the scoreboard when the match was over. No. 11 Catonsville’s reaction said it all: The Comets jumped for joy.
Dulaney, meanwhile, wondered how another one got away.
The Comets swept the visiting Lions, 25-17, 25-18, 24-8, in a tense duel that matched Catonsville’s power game against Dulaney’s quickness and overall talent Wednesday in a Class 4A North Section I final.
“We beat Dulaney in three sets during the regular season, and it was nice to see that the girls had that intensity and fire playing them a second time,” Comets coach Amanda Kaufman said. “My girls were driven and focused and they knew what they wanted. Defensively, we played very, very well.”
Junior outside hitter Kelly O’Keefe finished with a season-high 13 kills, senior libero Kateri Wess had 13 digs, and junior outside hitter Mitra Harrison totaled six kills and five digs as the Comets (15-1) advanced to the region championship for the first time in Kaufman’s 10 seasons on the job.
Catonsville will play Sherwood on Friday in the region final.
“I have six seniors who are starters,” Kaufman said. “Four of them have been with me since they were freshmen or sophomores. You don’t get groups like that very often and they want to go out with the best season they can possibly have.”
Catonsville took a 3-1 lead in the first set, and the score was tied seven times after that before the Comets started to take control. They closed out decisively with an 11-3 run, and O’Keefe ended it with a kill.
“She is very athletic and moves very well,” Kaufman said of O’Keefe. “It helps out a setter like Catherine [Ott], who can give her a nice set every single time.”
The second set mirrored the first one. The Comets went ahead 3-1 and there were eight ties. Then Catonsville pulled away with a 12-5 spurt.
The Comets were most impressive in the third set, and met the least resistance.
Catonsville took a 9-3 lead behind the serving of Ott quickly boosted its advantage to 17-5.
Amber Lilly’s ace finished the Lions (10-6) off.
“The team’s performance was bad,” said Dulaney coach Cary Lyon, whose team was led by senior setter Sophie Son (13 assists). “Their serves were good, but not great. We were just shanking balls we normally don’t do.”