Season closes for McDonough volleyball in 1A state semifinals
Rams volleyball swept by Perryville Panthers in 1A state semifinals
COLLEGE PARK — A year removed from reaching its first state champion- ship match in three decades, McDonough volleyball was looking to make for a second straight trip when it arrived at University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum for the Class 1A state semifinals on Tues- day.
When they left, their season had ended as the Rams were swept in three sets by the Per- ryville Panthers of Cecil County by scores of 25-12, 25-16 and 25-20.
In what was a rematch of the 2014 state semifinals, the size and experience of Per- ryville was able to take control throughout the match despite McDonough’s tough play in the second and third sets.
Perryville advances to take on two-time defending cham- pion Smithsburg from Washington County for the 1A state championship on Saturday. Smithsburg swept The Seed School of Baltimore 25-3, 25-5 and 25-4 in Tuesday’s other state semifinal match.
Smithsburg enters the state final having won six titles in the last seven years.
“We are fortunate to be back at states this year and this is something we don’t take for granted the girls work hard,” Perryville head coach Matt Borrelli said. “We want to make the best of these few days and hopefully we can come away with the win Saturday.”
In the first set, Perryville set the tone as it broke a 7-7 tie with an 18-5 run to close things out.
In the second set, the Rams
(4-13 overall) came to within 17-16 as senior setter Sarah Chen extended the point on a dig and teammate Rachel Cox made a huge block, but again the Panthers’ serving and hitting in the front court allowed them to end the set on an 8-0 run.
McDonough by far played its best set in the third as it gave Perryville all it could handle, as senior Trinity Jones (teamhigh 5 kills) and senior Lauryn Davis (1 kill, 3 digs) led the way during that span, taking leads of 10-7 and 11-10. The set featured five ties, but Perryville capped off the match with a 6-2 run. Whenever McDonough ignited a rally, the Panthers would come back with a vengeance.
“This is one of the better matches that we played this season,” McDonough head coach George Hadden said. “We played a great team, but Perryville had to beat us. We didn’t give anything away. We were hanging in there, we just had a few little hiccups. I’m so proud of these girls. When they play like that, I don’t care if we win or lose. In my heart we won, we put it all out on the court and that is what counts for me.”
Perryville was led by senior middle blocker Gabby Goodnow, who fin- ished with a game-high 16 kills. Senior Teri Wen- nersten was also a force in the middle with eight kills, while junior outside hitter Bea Muscella add- ed six kills in the victory. Senior setter Rose Porch was able to place perfect passes to her hitters at the net with 28 assists in the game.
McDonough was led by Jones, who had five of the team’s 12 kills in the match.
The Rams finished with 29 digs, three less than Perryville. Senior libero Celeste Driver constantly showed her toughness of diving on the floor and had a team-high nine digs, while senior Teya Regala added five kills.
“Every court that I play on I go home with bruis- es and eggs on my hips. It never stops,” Driver said. “We found some weaknesses of Perryville and as the match went on we were able to take advantage of that.”
Chen finished with 10 assists and seven digs in the match.
“In the beginning of the match I think everyone was a little nervous, but we just got into a groove and got some momentum and got some blocks,” said Chen, one of seven seniors on the team this season. “We were confident and we proved that we could still hang because we had a lot of doubters at the beginning of the season.”
McDonough head volleyball coach George Hadden talks to senior Trinity Jones during a timeout in Tuesday’s Class 1A state semifinal match versus Perryville of Cecil County at University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum. The Rams dropped the match in three sets by scores of 25-12, 25-16 and 25-20.
McDonough senior Lauryn Davis prepares to serve in Tuesday night’s Class 1A state volleyball semifinals versus Perryville of Cecil County at University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum in College Park. McDonough lost the contest in three sets.