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Rams sweep Fair­mont Heights, ad­vance to third-straight 1A North ti­tle match

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­

Af­ter a rough reg­u­lar sea­son, the McDonough vol­ley­ball team will get a chance to de­fend its re­gional cham­pi­onship for the third straight sea­son.

Wed­nes­day night the top-seeded Rams made light work of third-seeded Fair­mont Heights of Prince Ge­orge’s County, cruis­ing to a 25-12, 25-8, 25-15 sweep in the Class 1A North Re­gion Sec­tion II cham­pi­onship match in Pom­fret.

McDonough will host Pat­ter­son Mill of Har­ford County at 5 p.m. Fri­day for the re­gional champi- on­ship. Pat­ter­son Mill swept Havre de Grace of Har­ford County in three sets in Wed­nes­day’s Sec- tion I fi­nal.

“It feels good to get back in the re­gional fi- nal. That is three years in a row now and I hope that we can win it again,” said McDonough head coach Ge­orge Had­den, whose team was play­ing in its first play­off game on Wed­nes­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing a dou­ble bye. “We have less tal­ent than we did from last year’s team, but we are re­ally turn­ing it on here at the end and play­ing strong. So I’m happy for the girls to be able to play for the re­gion ti­tle again.”

With strong serv­ing and de­fense at the net, McDonough (3-12 over­all) trailed 3-0 to start the first set, but it went on a 13-0 run and later took a 16-5 lead. The Rams pushed things to 22-9 to take the open­ing set.

In the sec­ond set, McDonough scored the first six points and surged out to leads of 13-1 and 20-4 to take con­trol and never look back.

“In the first game we missed some serves, but we got a big lead, which was fun for them,” said Had­den, whose team has seven se­niors. “We made some good passes and kept our de­fense strong. If we do that, we have a good chance to keep go­ing.”

The third and fi­nal set was all the Rams once again as they jumped out to a com­mand­ing 15-3 lead. Fair­mont Heights came to within nine points to­ward the end of the

match, but Teya Re­gala capped things off with the match’s fi­nal point over the net.

McDonough se­nior Sarah Chen led in the serv­ing de­part­ment with a match-high 14 aces, while out­side hit­ter Trin­ity Jones fin­ished with eight kills in the game. Libero Ce­leste Driver, Rachel Cox and Lau­ren Davis also con­trib­uted

with key match.

“This is def­i­nitely great be­cause a lot of peo­ple were doubt­ing us be­cause we lost key play­ers last year, so we’ve been work­ing hard and are ex­cited to get back to the re­gional cham­pi­onship game. To­day I was try­ing to hit my spots and I was lis­ten­ing to my coaches.”

Jones added, “This year was kind of a rocky sea­son for us be­cause we went from win­ning more games last year to this year our record wasn’t the




best. So for us to come in and be able to make it to the re­gional fi­nal again is great. As long as we keep our heads in it, we can go very far.”

When asked about be­ing a huge pres­ence at the net, Jones said, “In prac­tice I con­stantly prac- tic­ing jump­ing and that is the main thing I do. Ev­ery ball that comes to me I go up and get it.”

Fair­mont Heights (3-8), which came off a win in five sets on the road ver- sus county foe Sur­rattsville in the sec­tion semifi-

nals Mon­day, bat­tled but wasn’t able to de­fend the Rams ‘serve and strong play in the front­court.

“It is rough to see the girls not proud of them­selves, but I am and we’ve came a long way,” Fair­mont Heights head coach Co­rina Ramos said. “McDonough is a very good team and they were the bet­ter team tonight. Our se­niors stepped up this sea­son and showed very good lead­er­ship, it was amaz­ing to watch them do that.”


McDonough’s Teya Re­gala, cen­ter, cel­e­brates with her team­mates af­ter notch­ing the fi­nal point of Wed­nes­day’s Class 1A North Sec­tion II vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship ver­sus Fair­mont Heights. McDonough won the match in three sets.

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