Ea­gles host Pan­thers with trip to re­gion fi­nal on the line

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

A Per­ryville-Bo­hemia Manor play­off volleyball match has be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion, but tonight’s meet­ing is un­like the oth­ers of re­cent years.

It had been a one-sided ri­valry dom­i­nated by the Pan­thers, but the Ea­gles de­feated Per­ryville in straight sets on Oct. 5 to end a 10-match los­ing streak to their county ri­vals. It was Bo Manor’s first win in the se­ries since Oc­to­ber of 2012.

The third match of the year – the 1A East Re­gion Sec­tion I Fi­nal – is set for 6 tonight on the Ea­gles’ home court.

“We knew that this matchup was com­ing. We know that ev­ery year. We’re ex­cited for it. We know Bo is ex­cited. We’re look­ing for­ward to a good game,” Per­ryville coach Matt Bor­relli said. “I think it def­i­nitely helps Bo Manor’s con­fi­dence go­ing into the game, es­pe­cially since they’re go­ing to be play­ing at home and since the last time we went there, we lost. I think that def­i­nitely gives them some con­fi­dence go­ing into it, but I also think it’s kind of a bur­den off our shoul­ders that we don’t have this long win­ning streak in the back of our minds.”

The Pan­thers (12-3) had beaten Bo Manor (13-3) in five sets in the sea­son opener for both teams.

“I feel like the split in the reg­u­lar sea­son helped a lit­tle bit with our con­fi­dence go­ing into play­offs. We know that Per­ryville is a re­ally good team, they’re re­ally well coached, and they are ob­vi­ously the more ex­pe­ri­enced team when it comes to play­offs,” Ea­gles coach Sab­rina Larmer said. “I feel like the girls were just a lit­tle bit more re­laxed that time they played. The be­gin­ning of the sea­son has firstgame jit­ters.”

Larmer added that Bo Manor ad­justed its line­ups and ser­vice or­der fol­low­ing the open­ing loss. The Ea­gles’ only two losses since have come to un­de­feated Ris­ing Sun.

“They ex­e­cuted re­ally well and made very, very few mis­takes. They con­stantly ap­plied pres­sure to us and I’m not even sure if we had a lead at all dur­ing all three sets of that game,” Bor­relli said of the sec­ond meet­ing be­tween the teams. “They came out ag­gres­sive from the be­gin­ning and built a lead. When­ever we did get a lit­tle bit of mo­men­tum, we would hit one out of bounds or serve one into the net – some­thing to kill our mo­men­tum. We never got into a rhythm that night and that’s be­cause they played so well.”

Hav­ing ended one los­ing streak to the Pan­thers, Bo Manor hopes to put a stop to an­other. The Ea­gles have been elim­i­nated from the post­sea­son by Per­ryville in five straight years. The Pan­thers seek their sev­enth-straight re­gion ti­tle.

Both teams won open­inground games Mon­day night to set the stage for tonight. The Pan­thers topped Havre de Grace, 3-1, win­ning the first two sets by iden­ti­cal 25-9 scores. Per­ryville dropped the third set as it ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent line­ups, but re­turned to its start­ing ro­ta­tion to eas­ily with the fourth game, 25-11.

Bo Manor swept Pat­ter­son Mill, 3-0.

“We played well,” Larmer said. “They made us work re­ally hard for our points. We had to serve tough and be re­ally smart on the of­fen­sive side of things.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

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