Pa­tri­ots fall just short of stun­ning un­beaten Ken­wood

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports

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.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Mor­gan Hug of Pat­ap­sco had sev­eral im­por­tant ser­vice runs as the Pa­tri­ots nearly up­set un­beaten Ken­wood.

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