Tow­son women ea­ger to show they be­long

Un­beaten CAA cham­pi­ons to face Amer­i­can in NCAAs

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Mike Klinga­man TODAY’S TV LO­CAL SCORE­BOARD By Ed­ward Lee

Dec. 7, 1992: Earl “Poppa Bear” Banks, who coached Mor­gan State’s foot­ball team for 14 years and who won NCAA Col­lege Divi­sion ti­tle in 1966, is in­ducted into the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame. Banks sent more than 40 play­ers to the pros.

Dec. 6, 1988: The heirs of Ed­ward Ben­nett Wil­liams, who owned the Ori­oles for nine years un­til his death in Au­gust, sell the team for $70 mil­lion to a group led by New York busi­ness­man Eli Ja­cobs.

Dec. 6, 1970: The Colts’ Jim O’Brien kicks field goals of 45, 44 and 47 yards — de­spite wind gusts of up to 35 mph — in a 29-10 vic­tory over the Philadel­phia Ea­gles in Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

Dec. 2, 1964: Navy’s bas­ket­ball team routs West­ern Mary­land (now McDaniel). 10466, in An­napo­lis. Gene Parchin­ski scores 21 for the win­ners.

Dec. 7, 1959: Mor­gan State’s Harry John­son scores 46 points in a 73-72 bas­ket­ball win over Bowie State in Hurt Gym­na­sium. John­son, a 6-foot-4 for­ward, later serves two tours of duty in Viet­nam, re­ceives three bronze stars and be­comes the first AfricanAme­r­i­can se­nior man­ager in World Bank his­tory.

Dec. 5, 1924: Mary­land scores a come­from-be­hind bas­ket­ball vic­tory over Columbia, 24-23, in over­time in New York. The Terps get a team-high 7 points from cap­tain Jack Faber, who’ll go on to coach the school’s lacrosse team to nine na­tional cham­pi­onships.

Dec. 1, 1912: Fol­low­ing a 6-0 de­feat of Army in Philadel­phia, Navy’s foot­ball team re­turns by train and is pa­raded through the streets of An­napo­lis, led by its mas­cot, Billy the goat, in a cart pulled by a mule clad in Army’s col­ors.

This was one of those oc­ca­sions when

Don Metil was happy to be proven wrong.

Be­fore the start of the 2019 season for the Tow­son women’s vol­ley­ball team, the sev­enth-year coach hud­dled with as­sis­tant coaches Terry Hutchin­son and Me­gan

Shif­flett Bach­mann and laid out a pair of ob­jec­tives: win at least as many matches as lost and carve out a spot in the six-team field for the Colo­nial Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion tour­na­ment.

That per­spec­tive, how­ever, flipped

Sept. 7 af­ter the Tigers swept a Prince­ton squad that had won three Ivy League cham­pi­onships in the past four years.

“When we were able to beat them 3-0, I thought that was a pretty special mo­ment for us,” Metil said. “Look­ing back on it, even though it was prob­a­bly the first week of Septem­ber, it kind of de­fined who we could be.”

On Sun­day night, a week af­ter Tow­son had earned only its se­cond NCAA Divi­sion I tour­na­ment berth and first since

2004, the team learned its post­sea­son path. The Tigers (28-2) will meet Amer­i­can Univer­sity (24-7) in a first-round make those jumps to be up there with match Fri­day in Univer­sity Park, Penn­sylthem,” the Bal­ti­more na­tive and Du­laney va­nia. The win­ner will ad­vance to a grad­u­ate said. se­cond-round tilt against the win­ner of Metil said he got a hint of the play­ers’ No. 11 seed Penn State (24-3)-Prince­ton de­ter­mi­na­tion in the pre­sea­son.

(17-7). “In July, they were talk­ing about rings

Af­ter wait­ing a week to find out the and cham­pi­onships,” he re­called. “I was team’s first-round op­po­nent, se­nior Mar­like, ‘That’s great to talk about, but we’ve risa Won­ders was just happy to be done talked about those things be­fore.’ There’s with the mys­tery. many kids, many ath­letes that came be­fore

“I liked the un­cer­tainty for a lit­tle bit, Liv and Cam Allen that have said those but even­tu­ally, we were all like, ‘We want words, and they just never came true. So to know who we’re play­ing. We want to for them to speak that ag­gres­sively early know where we’re go­ing,’” said Won­ders, on and keep their eyes on the prize and the CAA’s Player and Set­ter of the Year. work hard day in and day out, the [win “So we’re look­ing for­ward to it.” streak of ] 22 matches are kind of a

It will mark the first time since 2010 by-prod­uct of these kids and what they’ve that Tow­son and the Ea­gles will face each de­ter­mined to set out to do.” other, and Metil said that un­fa­mil­iar­ity The Tigers boast sev­eral in­di­vid­ual should prove ben­e­fi­cial. stand­outs. The 5-foot-11 Won­ders, who

“That way, ev­ery­body has to bring their joined Hof­s­tra’s Shel­lane Ogoshi as the ‘A’ game,” he said. “Some­times when you only play­ers in CAA his­tory to cap­ture play an op­po­nent and you see that both Player and Set­ter of the Year hon­ors op­po­nent again, if you were suc­cess­ful the in the same season, ranks sev­enth in the first time, you might let down your guard nation in as­sists per set (11.6) and 27th in or have some type of men­tal thought to­tal as­sists (1,199). Join­ing Won­ders on process that it’s go­ing to be as easy as it the league’s first team were fresh­man was the first time. But to have some­one in mid­dle blocker Ly­dia Wiers, who was the first round that we’ve never seen se­lected as the Rookie of the Year, se­nior be­fore is go­ing to cre­ate a height­ened mid­dle blocker Sil­via Grassini and Finckel sense of ur­gency and ex­e­cu­tion.” — all of whom have at least 200 kills and

Tow­son be­came the first team in 100 blocks this fall. con­fer­ence his­tory to go 16-0 in the But when Tow­son takes the court reg­u­lar season and cap­ture the tour­naa­gainst the Ea­gles, nearly two weeks will ment cham­pi­onship. The ti­tle is the have passed since the play­ers’ last com­pro­gram’s first since 2015 when that squad pe­t­i­tive match in a straight-sets sweep of shared it with James Madi­son, and the James Madi­son for the CAA tour­na­ment cur­rent team’s 28 wins are the most in the crown. That’s why Metil had the play­ers rally era since the 2001 squad went 28-4. prac­tice for two hours a few hours be­fore

The Tigers are rid­ing a 22-match Sun­day night’s se­lec­tion show. win­ning streak — a sin­gle-season record “Hon­estly, I think we’re more ex­cited out­pac­ing the 19-match streak in 2003 — be­cause there’s no pres­sure,” Allen said. and own the No. 36 RPI, but feel like they “It’s not like we have noth­ing to lose, but are fly­ing un­der the radar. Ju­nior de­fenwe haven’t won it 15 times in a row, and sive spe­cial­ist Cam­ryn Allen said the we’re ex­pected to win it again. We can just chat­ter among on­line vol­ley­ball cir­cles is re­lax and know that we’re go­ing to have fun.”thatTow­son­iso­ne­oftheweake­r par­tic­i­pants. Metil said the mood around Sun­day’s

“I think it will be good to ac­tu­ally get a prac­tice was light. But he also noted that chance to play one of the higher-ranked there was a se­ri­ous­ness un­der­neath the schools,” the El­li­cott City na­tive and laughs.

Cen­ten­nial grad­u­ate said. “Ev­ery­one was “I think there’s a lot of con­fi­dence,” he say­ing in the be­gin­ning that we don’t said. “I think they’re level-headed, but de­serve to be ranked that high be­cause we with all this team has ac­com­plished, I hadn’t beaten a Top 25 or a Top 50 team. hope it con­tin­ues to drive us for­ward. Now we have a chance to prove that we Now that we’ve met al­most ev­ery goal — if should have been ranked that high.” not all of the goals that we set as

Se­nior out­side hitter Olivia Finckel said in­di­vid­u­als and as a team — I hope we’re she can al­most un­der­stand the dis­dain. still hun­gry to set a new goal. … I think But she also re­vealed that the play­ers have they’re still ex­cited to con­tinue the in­ter­nal­ized the crit­i­cism and con­verted it jour­ney rather than say we’ve ac­com­into mo­ti­va­tion. plished what we’ve ac­com­plished and

“I think it’s given us a lit­tle bit more now what­ever hap­pens, hap­pens. I hope drive to prove that we did earn this and they’re set­ting new goals based on tonight that we’ve been work­ing hard enough to and that we can achieve even more.”

Dec. 3, 1907: Joe Gans, world light­weight box­ing cham­pion, is fined $25 in court for speed­ing his au­to­mo­bile on Mount Royal Av­enue.

Birth­day

Dec. 3, 1937: Bobby Boyd, Colts cor­ner­back who was three times All-Pro in the 1960s and who re­tired with 57 in­ter­cep­tions, tied for 13th all-time. Boyd died in 2017.

Men’s Col­lege Bas­ket­ball

Per­fec­tion

The Tow­son vol­ley­ball team is one of only three pro­grams that have fin­ished a season with an un­blem­ished record in the Colo­nial Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (CAA) por­tions of their sched­ules and the only school to have achieved that feat since the turn of the cen­tury. Here is a list of the per­fect records in

CAA his­tory.

Year School

CAA record

TOW­SON ATH­LET­ICS

Tow­son mid­dle blocker Sil­via Grassini was named to the Colo­nial Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion all-league team.

BAL­TI­MORE SUN

A game-changer, Colts cor­ner­back Bobby Boyd in­ter­cepted 57 passes in a nine-season ca­reer with Bal­ti­more (1960-68).

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