Hurricanes move forward
Huntingtown sweeps Northern, advances to 3A South final
The Northern Patriots are a young team with no seniors on the roster and Wednesday night hosting county rival Huntingtown in the Class 3A South Region Section II final, the more experienced Hurricanes roster featuring eight seniors were able to sweep the Patriots to advance.
The Hurricanes (14-2 overall) won by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-22 to advance to Friday’s 3A South Region final at Poly of Baltimore. A time for that match was not known at press time.
“First off, hats off to Northern. Bobby [Gibbons] is an incredible coach and [Northern] is an incredible team,” Huntingtown head coach Steave Habbert said. “They are always a hard fight no matter where we play them or how we play them. They are just an incredible team with incredible talent. They made us work for every single point we earned today.”
The Hurricanes raced out to an early 4-0 lead in the opening set that forced Northern head coach Bobby Gibbons to call a timeout to try and relax his team.
“My ladies we came in with a game plan and we wanted to execute that game plan. I thought we did a good job of it. There were some things that we left on the court as far as our game plan is concerned,” Habbert said. “Serve-receive is a little bit of a concern of mine to be honest right now, otherwise really strong performance by my offense. My defense stayed engaged. We executed our game plan both in serve and in attack and that was important to tonight’s victory. Plus, my girls brought it.”
Gibbon’s timeout allowed the Patriots to to claw back into the first set and tie the score up at 4. Through the
first 20 points, both teams were deadlocked again at 10. An ace by Huntingtown’s Quinn Mulvihill granted the Hurricanes a lead at 11-10.
Northern (15-3), the defending 3A state champions, was able to keep the score tight every time it appeared the Hurricanes may extend their lead to four points. A kill by junior Allie Timbario pulled Northern to within 16-14.
After the score was tied at 18, the Hurricanes closed out the set on a 7-1 run to claim the first 25-19.
“Honestly, that was probably one of the toughest games we have ever played in our entire high school career,” Hurricanes senior Abby Johnson said. “Northern definitely brought it, but I also think we brought it, too. That was easily our best game that we have played.”
In the second set, Huntingtown grabbed an early advantage.
“We prepared all season just really perfecting our defense and offense and really fine-tuning everything so when we came here everything was
perfect,” Mulvihill said.
Similarly to the first set, Huntingtown led for a majority of it, but Northern kept the score close and would not let the Hurricanes run away with the set.
The Patriots fought back to tie the score at 20 in front of a packed crowd filled with fans representing both teams for what would be the last volleyball match ever in Northern’s gym.
Habbert called a timeout with his team leading by one point, 23-22, after the Patriots won two points in a row. An ace by senior Katlynn Palensky secured the second set for Huntingtown, 25-22.
“I think it’s a well overdue win and a lot of seniors on the team we really wanted it,” Palensky said. “We knew we were going to have to come into this game really strong otherwise they were going to take it from us. So we came in here and coming into their gym it feels good to take a win.”
Huntingtown gets ready for the second set against the hosting Northern Patriots in the 3A South Region Section II final. The Hurricanes swept the Patriots 25-19, 25-22, 25-19 and advanced to the Friday 3A South Region final at Poly.