Girls’ volleyball moves on to state semifinals in dramatic fashion

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Photo by Mason Berk

The girls’ volleyball team warms up before the quarterfinals.

In the state quarterfinals on Nov. 12, the girls’ volleyball team took on the 4A North Region 1 champions, Dulaney. The 16-0 Patriots’ looked to comfortably win this match against the 12-5 Lions and advance to the state semifinals.

Immediately, the Patriots got off to a hot start, leading 8-2 and forcing the Lions to call a timeout early in the first set. This momentum would continue midway through the set as the Patriots led by eight points, 15-7. The Dulaney defense had no stop for the height of the Patriots. The Patriots would close the set on a 10-1 run, winning with a score of 25-8 after a great performance by senior Nadia Meyerovich, who closed out the first set with an ace.

The second set started off with a 3-1 lead by the Lions, which would quickly evaporate as the Patriots went on a six- point run to take a 7-3 lead. This set would go back and forth and neither team could pull away. The set was tied at 16-16. The Patriots would finish the set on a 9-2 run capped off by a kill from senior Iris Guo to win the second set by seven points.

The third set would yet again be controlled by the Patriots as they got out to an early 11-5 start and did not look back as they would go on a 9-5 run, forcing a timeout by the Lions as they tried to pull off a miraculous comeback and save their season. This timeout sparked a 5-2 run for the Lions, which forced Patriots coach Mary Malinauskas to put in starters and finish off the match. They did this, but not without a scare as the Lions won four more points to get to 19 before the Patriots finished them off with a spike from senior Samantha Bolze to conclude their impressive quarterfinals rout.

I thought we played well, but I wasn’t sure that the last five points would ever end and I’m excited for the next one. This is what we’ve been training for so let’s do it.”

— Mary Malinauskas

After the game Malinauskas said, “I thought we played well, but I wasn’t sure that the last five points would ever end and I’m excited for the next one. This is what we’ve been training for so let’s do it.” 

The undefeated Patriots will face the third seeded Leonardtown Raiders in the state semifinals  at Hartford Community College  tonight with the winner set to face the winner of Sherwood and Arundel in the state finals.

Junior Jessica Winson said, “I am super excited for the semis and I think we have a really good chance at going to the finals. I’ve been to a couple games so far and I think this is definitely the best volleyball team in the state and we have the best student section in the state.”

This playoff run was fueled by a regional semifinal blowout against BCC that the Patriots won in straight sets, and a thriller win against Churchill that went to five sets and ended with a 15-13 fifth set victory.