Patriots fall just short of stunning unbeaten Kenwood
The Kenwood volleyball team hosted Patapsco on its Senior Night, which is right up there with being the visiting team for a Homecoming game.
But a motivated Patriot squad nearly ruined not only the Bluebird’s Senior Night, but their unbeaten season.
Patapsco (5-9) stunned Kenwood (13-0) by winning the first two sets before the Bluebirds rallied for a 24-26, 18-25, 25-20, 28-26, 15-13 victor y on Thursday.
The Patriots, who were swept by Kenwood on their home court earlier in the season, had an extra motivation for the rematch.
“I told the players, if they won, they could shave my head at our Senior Night,” Patapsco coach Eric Rogers said. “We came in with confidence, focus and a goal: to shave my head on Senior Night.”
Patapsco was serving for the match in the fourth set, leading 26-25. But an error on a free hit tied the score and gave the serve back to Kenwood.
An error on a serve-receive and an errant spike attempt sent the match into the fifth set.
Patapsco had an 11-8 lead and the serve in the fifth set (which is played to 15 points), but a bad serve allowed Kenwood to close to within 11-10.
The Patriots still led 13-11 and had the serve, two points from winning the match.
But an error on a spike attempt gave the serve back to Kenwood, and it just happened that the Bluebird’s best server, Makayla Brown, was next at the line.
Brown served three straight aces to win the match. “I don’t think our girls understood how good they actually played tonight,” Rogers said. “I can’t really convey how proud I am of them right now, even ending up with a loss.”
Trailing 13-7 in the fourth set, Patapsco went on a run that saw it score 11 of the next 14 points to take an 18-16 lead.
Morgan Hug had a five-point service run that featured five aces.
The two teams battled back and forth for the rest of the match, with six lead changes. A spike by Kierstin Goble gave the Patriots a 26-25 lead and put them on the verge of victory.
After holding on to win the first set, Patapsco jumped out to a 10-4 lead in set two, then extended the lead to 17-7 with the help of a five-point service run by Vera Pavlovich and a kill by Hug.
The Bluebirds responded with seven unanswered points to cut Patapsco’s lead to 17-14.
Leading 20-16 after a spike by Goble, the Patriots served three aces before a spike by Hug won the set.
Patapsco’s Senior Night was Tuesday against Woodlawn. The Patriots finish the regular season at Owings Mills on Thursday.
Sparrows Point (5-6) ended the regular season at Perry Hall on Thursday, losing in a sweep.
Dundalk (6-8) defeated Woodlawn in four sets on Oct. 17 and was swept by Pikesville on Thursday. The Owls were to play at Overlea in the regular-season finale on Tuesday.
Morgan Hug of Patapsco had several important service runs as the Patriots nearly upset unbeaten Kenwood.