Queen Anne’s clinches North Bayside crown
Sweep of the Bulldogs ends with program’s first division title since 2001
RIDGELY — Twenty-five to three.
The Lions didn’t waste any time reasserting themselves as the best volleyball team in the North Bayside this season.
Queen Anne’s County High’s complete dominance in Game 1 Thursday evening at North Caroline set the tone for a 25-3, 25-13, 25-16 sweep that clinched its first North division title since 2001.
The Lions improved to 12-0 overall, 10-0 North Bayside, including the only two wins against the Bulldogs this season.
Both Queen Anne’s victories over North Caroline came in dominating 3-0 sweeps that the perennially powerful Bulldogs rarely endure.
Emma Feaga led the Lions on Thursday with 12 aces, eight digs, and five kills. Allie Harris contributed 10 kills and three blocks. Kayla Boomer swatted six kills and had six digs. Becca Clay picked up 11 digs and Kayla Blann provided 16 assists.
“I was so proud of the entire squad,” Lions head coach Kim Rementer-Betts said. “They work hard at practice. They push each other to be the best that they can be, and even when they were down in that second set we stayed composed and controlled and we were able to come back. Our passing and defense was stellar; it allowed us to really spread out our attack. And Emma Feaga serving was unbelievable.”
The North Bayside title is Rementer-Betts’ first in her 10 years with Queen Anne’s. The Lions, who last won the Bayside title in 1997, will face James M. Bennett
(12-2, 9-1 South Bayside) for the conference championship. The Clippers also clinched yesterday with a sweep of Parkside.
North Caroline (11-2, 8-2) returned the services of Haily Sears and Serena O’Connell, back from injuries that kept them out of the first match against the Lions, but Sydney Dawkins was absent Thursday, limiting the Bulldogs’ front line attack and defense.
The Lions took a 3-0 lead and never trailed in Game 1. Kelly Cavanagh served an ace deep in the left corner of the Bulldogs’ defense to open the game. A North Caroline kill-attempt failed with Harris setting up a block for the Lions. Harris then tipped down a first-hit winner at the net to make it 3-0.
O’Connell found an opening with a reverse bump for a Bulldogs’ sideout, but Queen Anne’s added five more points for an 8-1 lead. With Clay serving, Feaga scored three straight points with a tip and two kills.
An 8-0 run with Feaga serving, including four aces, later put the Lions up 17-2. The other four points came on a North Caroline net violation, a communication/passing error, a winner by Harris off an assist by Blann, and a setting miscue.
“It was absolutely amazing; I’m very proud of them,” Feaga said, describing her team’s performance. “We had great coverage. Our serves were awesome. We all helped out each other if something bad happened. We’re great at playing as a team. We were a little nervous [during Game 2] but we’ve been down a lot more before and we always got back up. We always help each other. It was just a great effort.”
As bad as the Bulldogs played in the first game, they played well to open Game 2, but it didn’t last. Alison Ward served for five points to open the game, including three straight aces for North Caroline. That lead disappeared quickly with another long serving run, 10 points, by Feaga. Three of the points came from aces and the Bulldogs failed to return her serve three other times. Boomer contributed a kill deep inside the right corner, off an assist from Blann. Harris put the Lions’ up 12-6 with a two-handed winner on a first-hit at the net.
A four-point serving run by Clay later put the Lions up 22-12. She served one ace during the run and North Caroline did not return her serve twice. The other point came on a Bulldogs’ passing error. Queen Anne’s later closed out the game with a first-hit winner by Harris at the net and Bulldogs’ setting error.
“Our passes worked really well today and it made my job as the setter really easy,” Blann said. “We controlled the game and kept the momentum up pretty much the entire game. We just knew what we had to do to get back in the game , and we did what we needed to do.”
Game 3 stayed competitive with North Caroline trailing only 14-12 before the Lions eased ahead. Queen Anne’s got four straight points to increase its lead to 18-12. A Bulldogs’ serving error and two straight hitting misfires made it 17-12. Harris then found an open spot in the middle of the Bulldogs’ defense.
Two Queen Anne’s points with libero Sydney Parsons serving and a North Caroline setting error later closed out the match. Boomer scored with a twohanded winner, and North Caroline failed to return the next serve. A carry violation on the Lions made it 24-16 before the Bulldogs’ setting miscue ended it.
The Lions are scheduled to close their regular season with a match at James M. Bennett next Thursday. North Caroline travels to Wicomico.
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Queen Anne’s County swept North Caroline 3-0 Thursday to capture its first North Bayside title since 2001.