Ca­tonsville shows ‘fire’ in sweep

No. 11 Comets win tense match vs. Du­laney, will play Sher­wood in re­gional fi­nal

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Tom Worgo

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.”

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