Sea­son closes for McDonough vol­ley­ball in 1A state semi­fi­nals

Rams vol­ley­ball swept by Per­ryville Pan­thers in 1A state semi­fi­nals

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

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.

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