Season for ends for La Plata volleyball
Warriors lose in four sets to Calvert in 2A South section final
In the weeks leading up to their potential rematch with La Plata High School, members of the Calvert High School vol- leyball team admitted the Warriors were their pri- mary focus in practices.
Wednesday evening, the Cavaliers got their wish by traveling to La Plata and avenging a fourset defeat on Oct. 18 at the hands of the Warriors by recording a four-set vic- tory over the hosts in the Class 2A South Region Section I final.
Calvert (10-6 overall) earned a berth in Friday’s 2A South Region final at Southern of Anne Arundel County by prevailing at La Plata, 25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 25-15. The region final is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
“Ever since they beat us the first time we played them, all of our focus has been on beating La Plata,” said Calvert senior setter Bridget Wilding, whose squad swept Patuxent on Monday to reach Wednesday’s round. “They beat us in four games the first time, so we wanted to come in ready. It all started with our defense. We made some great digs and great passes and that enabled us to run our attack.”
Calvert junior Rachel Black was the primary focus of the La Plata attack, making digs and passes on spikes from La Plata juniors Devin Ruble and Loryn Cottle and middle hitters Jayci Chamberlain and Samantha Falenofoa that denied points and allowed the Cavaliers to run their attack, then lofted sets that Anna Kelly, Zalera Duckett, Bailey Krolczyk and Black for kills.
“Rachel and Bridget are really the heart and soul of our team,” Calvert head coach Tim Smith said. “They know how to make things happen on the court for us. Tonight, Rachel did a great job dig- ging balls and helping us run our attack. Bridget did a great job setting and getting the ball to our at- tackers.”
La Plata head coach Bill Young could take solace in the simple fact that the Warriors graduate only one senior and the bulk of their talent returns next year in Cottle, Ruble, Chamberlain, Falenfoa and setters McKenzie Roof and Ava Krahling. Nevertheless, Young did not want to look too far beyond Wednesday’s four-game setback.
“Really the difference tonight was [Calvert] really dug everything and that enabled them to run their attacks,” Young said. “The last time we played them we executed much better and we ran our at- tacks. But give Calvert credit, they made the plays tonight that enabled them to run their offense and that kept us from real- ly gathering any momen- tum.”
Calvert ended the opening set on a 6-2 run to forge a 25-21 victory, but La Plata (11-6) shook off that defeat and drew even courtesy of a prolonged service run from Alyssa Gayon, aided by attack points from Ruble off sets from Kelsey Hanks. Gay- on’s run ended with an error and was countered by two kills from Black before Ruble ended the set with a kill.
Late in the pivotal third set with Krahling serving for La Plata, Krolczyk delivered a Wilding set for a kill and Black followed with a pair of service winners, including an ace for a 23-17 lead en route to a 25-19 victory.
Calvert then wasted little time attaining the upper hand in the fourth set, as it got service runs from Emily McCrossan, Black and Krolczyk that enabled the visitors to gain a commanding 19-10 lead.
“They played much better tonight than the last time we faced them,” said Cottle, who also plays basketball for the school. “We had some really good attacks, but they made some really good digs. It was not how we wanted to end the season, but I’m really looking forward to next season. We have a lot of players back and our freshmen this year will benefit from having played this year.”
La Plata High School freshman Jayci Chamberlain goes up for a kill as junior setter McKenzie Roof looks on. Chamberlain and her La Plata teammates saw their season come to an end on Wednesday when they fell to Calvert in four sets in the 2A South Region Section I final.