Back to the finals
Rams sweep Fairmont Heights, advance to third-straight 1A North title match
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.