Eagles host Panthers with trip to region final on the line
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.”
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