Hur­ri­canes move for­ward

Hunt­ing­town sweeps North­ern, ad­vances to 3A South fi­nal

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By JOHN NISWANDER jniswan­der@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN NISWANDER

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.

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