Queen Anne’s clinches North Bay­side crown

Sweep of the Bull­dogs ends with pro­gram’s first divi­sion ti­tle since 2001

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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 [2], 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.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Queen Anne’s County swept North Caro­line 3-0 Thurs­day to cap­ture its first North Bay­side ti­tle since 2001.

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