Mount Hebron (16-3) fought off an early charge from top-seeded Liberty to defend its state Class 2A volleyball title, 14-16, 15-6, 16-14, 15-11, yesterday at Catonsville Community College.
Liberty (16-3) had a lead in every game except the second, but the Vikings just had too much power for the Lions. While the Lions relied on 6-foot senior Kelly Foreman for most of their offense, Mount Hebron had a court full of powerful hitters.
In the fourth game, the Lions held leads of 8-3 and 11-7 before the Vikings rallied. Jen Dohler, Brooke Christopher, Tracy Porter and Kai Scott all had kills in an eight-point run that capped the championship.
"I saw Mount Hebron come back in every game," said Liberty coach Helen Derwin. "They just have that ability. They know once they make a mistake, it's over. They just go on to the next point."
Centennial (19-0) needed only three games to beat Seneca Valley (14-4) and win its second title in three years, but the match was closer than the score indicated.
The fourth-seeded Screaming Eagles, from Montgomery County, played outstanding defense before falling, 15-13, 15-3, 15-7. They had used the same scrappy defense to knock off top-seeded Catonsville in last week's semifinal.
Seneca Valley took a 7-5 lead early in the first game. But Centennial adjusted its back-row defense to cover the lines. Centennial came back with a seven-point run on Hermann's serve and never trailed again.
Centennial rolled through the second game. Seneca Valley took an early third-game lead before Centennial turned the game around on strong hits and well-placed dinks as well as some strong defense of its own.
Juniors Shannon Saltzman, a 6-0 middle hitter, and Laura Taneyhill, a 5-7 outside hitter, combined for 17 kills in the match.
Williamsport cruised to its fifth state title behind the power hitting of 6-2 Carla Houser and 5-8 Paige Graff. The Wildcats (18-0) from Western Maryland, took a 15-6, 15-7, 15-12 victory over Snow Hill (17-1), of Worcester County.