After an easy win in the opening game of the best-of-five series, Catonsville had to battle host Owings Mills for its next two victories yesterday to claim the Baltimore County volleyball title, three games to one.
The Comets scored 11 unanswered points in the first game and beat Owings Mills, 15-1. The Eagles came back from the loss and held the lead the entire second game to win, 15-3. Catonsville won the last two games, 15-7, and 15-12.
"Once they got going, they were very tough," said Catonsville coach Debbie Clem. "We missed six serves in the second game, but my hitters adjusted well."
In the Eagles' only win, they quickly built a 9-3 lead, but Catonsville cut it to 9-7 on key serves by Katie Deickman. With the score 14-8, the Comets reduced it to 14-13, but Owings Mills regained the serve and Jill Lichtenberg served Owings Mills' game point.
Game 3 started close, but the Comets finished strong. Owings Mills was in a must-win situation going into Game 4.
"After winning the [second] game, the girls may have felt relieved they were not going to get swept," said Eagles coach Lisa Meyer, who played at Catonsville under Clem. "I wanted to win three."
Owings Mills showed its strength in the final game. After falling behind, 11-3, on key kill shots by Amy Evans, the Eagles brought the game to within one on serves by Kathy Shoul and Tara O'Neal and a key kill by Kathrin Koenig.
Lauren Shrycok brought the Comets two more points but hit the ball out of bounds on game point. After another Eagles' point by Vivian Valenzuela, the Comets put the game away.
"They had too many people who could put the ball down," Meyer said. "They passed, played defense, obviously hit and served well."