Dig­ging through 1A North

McDonough vol­ley­ball tops Pat­ter­son Mill for third straight re­gion crown

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

The McDonough vol­ley­ball team are head­ing back to the fi­nal four of the Mary­land state tour­na­ment once again.

Fri­day night, the Rams claimed their third straight Class 1A North Re­gion cham­pi­onship after de­feat­ing vis­it­ing Pat­ter­son Mill of Har­ford County in four sets, 25-16, 13-25, 25-23 and 25-19.

The teams split the first two sets, but McDonough (4-12

over­all) was able to close out the last two sets to take the match. Pat­ter­son Mill was the No. 2 seed in Sec­tion I of the 1A North bracket.

The Rams ad­vanced to take on Per­ryville of Ce­cil County on Tues­day night for the 1A state semi­fi­nals at Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Ritchie Coli­seum in Col­lege Park. Wash­ing­ton

County’s Smiths­burg, the twotime de­fend­ing 1A state cham- pi­ons, and The SEED School of Bal­ti­more com­peted in the other 1A semi­fi­nal con­test ear­lier on Tues­day.

McDonough fell to Smiths- burg in the state fi­nal last sea- son in straight sets.

De­spite los­ing a plethora of tal- ented se­niors a year ago, Rams head coach Ge­orge Had­den and the Rams are back in a fa­mil­iar spot to com­pete in a very com- pe­t­i­tive state tour­na­ment.

“It feels won­der­ful to see the joy in my girls faces after win- ning our third straight re­gion- al cham­pi­onship,” said Mc- Donough head coach Ge­orge Had­den, whose team swept Fair­mont Heights of Prince Ge­orge’s County in Wed­nes­day’s Sec­tion I fi­nal. The Rams were the top seed in the three­team sec­tion. “Early on they had their doubts, but I kept telling them, ‘Prac­tice hard and keep our de­fense strong and we can do it again.’”

Lead­ing the of­fen­sive at­tack for McDonough was se­nior Trin­ity Jones with 12 kills. Ra- chel Cox fin­ished with eight kills and Lauren Davis had five, while libero Ce­leste Driver added four.

Driver had a team-high 28 digs and Teya Regala fin­ished with 13. Sarah Chen de­liv­ered with 26 as­sists to lead the Rams and also had four aces as did Davis.

“Re­turn­ing to states for the third straight time is a great ac­com­plish­ment for our team. I can say, I pray we learned a lit­tle each year to hope­fully win this time,” Had­den said. “Per­ryville and Smiths­burg are two for­mi­da­ble teams. Hope­fully they lost some of the se­niors from last year and may be a lit­tle weaker. If our de­fense can outdo their pow­er­ful of­fense, we may have a chance. It’s go­ing to be tough and it all de­pends on their will to want to win.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The McDonough vol­ley­ball team cap­tured its third straight Class 1A North Re­gion cham­pi­onship after de­feat­ing vis­it­ing Pat­ter­son Mill of Har­ford County on Fri­day night in four sets, 25-16, 13-25, 25-23 and 25-19. The Rams ad­vance to take on Per­ryville of Ce­cil County on Tues­day night in the 1A state semi­fi­nals at Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Ritchie Coli­seum in Col­lege Park.

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