Off to a quick start
Cavaliers sweep Panthers in volleyball showdown
Watching his team play during a preseason scrimmage at Anne Arundel County’s South River High School, Calvert head volleyball coach Tim Smith came to the realization that his job was a little different than usual.
“I told my assistants it’s kind of fun because the girls are just doing some things they’re supposed to do,” he said. “They’re like running themselves, which is the ultimate goal. Go and play a high-level game and they’re basically
doing it on their own. I don’t really have to step in a whole lot. I still tweak some things here and there, but I’m excited for this season to see where things go.”
Through three matches all has been good for the Cavaliers, who opened the season with a 3-0 win at Leonardtown, followed it up with a another sweep at St. Charles and then defeated county rival Patuxent 25-12, 25-12, 27-25 in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division match on Monday night.
“It’s a fairly mature group,” Smith said of his squad. “We have seven seniors on the roster, a couple players who are four-year varsity starters. It’s pretty exciting for me to see how they’ve grown across four years and the things that they’re doing.”
On Monday, Calvert (3-0, 2-0 SMAC Chesapeake) stormed out to a quick two-set lead. The Cavaliers did not trail
for a single point until Patuxent (1-1, 0-1) won the first point of the third set. Patuxent made sure to create at least a little drama, though, eventually leading 24-21 before the Cavaliers won four straight points, including three in a row with Rachel Black serving, to stave off losing the set and surge ahead 2524.
Patuxent tied the score back up at 25, but Calvert won the next point to go up 26-25 and then put the match away when the Panthers were unable to get Megan Williams’ serve back
over the net.
“I think for our first home match we played pretty well,” said Calvert’s Anna Kelly, who was a force at the net all night for the Cavaliers. “I know the excitement level was really high so we made some little mistakes. I think we were able to recover from it really well. We earned a lot of points in the first two sets. The third set we messed up a lot, I think just because we relaxed too much. But I think our confidence brought us back up to get the win.”
The manner in which the team has started the season had Kelly excited about this year’s prospects. Calvert is scheduled to host Huntingtown
at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in another Calvert County matchup.
“We’ve been doing really well,” she said. “Our first match we swept Leonardtown 3-0. That’s the first time the school has beat them in three years. It was a big, big win for us. We swept St. Charles 3-0 and Patuxent 3-0. We’re just really excited. I know we’re going to go far this season. We’re excited for Huntingtown on Thursday.”
Experienced as the team may be, Smith still sees plenty of work to be done. Monday night’s match illustrated some of that, with a high number of missed serves giving away point to the Panthers.
“There’s room for improve-
ment, for sure,” Smith said. “We were trying some different things, trying some things offensively. ... The girls missed a ton of serves. I think half the points they got were on missed serves. We’re typically an aggressive serving team, so that’s not something I’m really concerned about at this point in the season. It just makes the match a little tighter.”
Patuxent, which was scheduled to host St. Charles on Tuesday night and next slated to be at Leonardtown at 5:30 p.m. Monday, does not have the luxury of seven seniors on its roster this year. But head coach Kevin Keller sees a team that he expects to consistently
improve as the season unfolds.
“We’ve improved each match,” he said. “We don’t get down. Probably the first match [a 3-1 win over North Point] a little bit, but now I think their camaraderie is really coming together. ... We’re young. We have two seniors, but I love the chemistry and it’s going to be a joy coaching this team. They’re going to get better and better and their attitude is fantastic.
“[Calvert is] a tough team. We were making a lot of errors early. They missed some serves and kept us in it, as well. But the girls fought hard and the resiliency is something to be proud of.”
Calvert’s volleyball team defeated the visiting Patuxent Panthers 3-0 on Monday night.