Northern volleyball sweeps Leonardtown
All three sets proved to be very close
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.