North­ern vol­ley­ball sweeps Leonard­town

All three sets proved to be very close

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Roughly two weeks af­ter their in­abil­ity to win close sets proved to the dif­fer­ence in their lone set­back of the fall sea­son thus far at La Plata, the North­ern High School vol­ley­ball team swept host Leonard­town High School on Wed­nes­day evening in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion match that was tied on 33 dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions.

North­ern (6-1, 3-0 SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake) ac­tu­ally trailed in the late stages of all three sets at Leonard­town, but even­tu­ally pre­vailed, 25-21, 2521, 27-25, and man­aged to sweep an op­po­nent that it outscored by a grand sum of 10 points in three sets.

“It was a great match for both teams,” North­ern head coach Bobby Gib­bons said. “I think we were be­hind early in

all three games and that’s be­cause Leonard­town came out with more en­ergy than we did. We were just able to find a way to fin­ish. [Set­ter] Gabby [El­brecht] made some great de­ci­sions with the ball tonight and both Al­lies [Droneberger and Tim­bario] came through with some big hits.”

El­brecht proved in­valu­able through­out the first set cour­tesy of her sets to Droneberger and Tim­bario on the out­side and ju­nior mid­dle blocker Shan­non Salo, but with the teams tied at 19 El­brecht reeled off five straight win­ners that in­cluded four aces, three of which proved too dif­fi­cult for Leonard­town libero Lily Devito. Then El­brecht ended the set with a two-hand kill that found a va­cancy in the left cor­ner.

“Each time I went back to serve I just looked for some­one in the back row,” El­brecht said. “I thought I served the ball well. We had a nice run. But hav­ing those two Al­lies to set is re­ally nice and we’re all still young.”

Much of the sec­ond set played out in eerily sim­i­lar fash­ion with Leonard­town claim­ing a 10-9 lead cour­tesy of four straight win­ners from ju­nior Mad­die Ar­go­b­right and three more later from Kyra Sny­der that lifted the Raiders to a 15-14 lead. But this time the Pa­tri­ots did not wait as long to re­gain con­trol of the set.

Sopho­more Alissa Jester reeled off four straight win­ners punc­tu­ated by a kill from Droneberger. Then Droneberger car­ried the Pa­tri­ots to the thresh­old of vic­tory with three straight win­ners, but that was halted by a Tim­bario at­tack er­ror. Leonard­town fresh­man Ju­lia

Bo­browski recorded two straight aces to nar­row the gap to 24-21, but her last serve squarely hit the net.

“It just seemed like each game came down to one or two mis­takes that we made that they took ad­van­tage of,” Bo­browski said. “We’re a re­ally young team and me and two other fresh­men start. We’re go­ing to have to learn from our mis­takes. We played well against a re­ally good team. We just made some lit­tle mis­takes that cost us.”

Bo­browski had an early ser­vice run in the third set that in­cluded a pair of aces off Droneberger in the back row, but her last serve sailed deep. Later, the Raiders owned small leads thanks to serves from Tori Gar­ren and Jenna Kline, but two straight win­ners from Tim­bario brought the Pa­tri­ots even at 20 and were tied on five more oc­ca­sions.

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