Edmondson High's volleyball team won't soon forget its first trip out of Baltimore City and into the state Class 4A playoffs.
Playing in the Region IV semifinal for the first time, the fourth-seeded Redskins had the unenviable task of Girls volleyball
visiting defending state champion and top seed Severna Park (15-0) last night.
The Baltimore Sun's second-ranked Falcons eliminated Edmondson (9-6), 15-6, 15-4, 15-1, for their 34th straight victory and will play host to Broadneck at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
"Maybe it was the long ride," said Anton Sawyer, Edmondson's head coach for 20 years, with a laugh.
"But I know people are going to say, awwwh that was a city team and they can't play volleyball. Well, if we had played our best, we could have given them more competition.
"Next year, we will do better and we will return. It's great to see other teams outside the city like this."
Edmondson dedicated the match to team member Toneeka Moseley who had died of an aneurysm a few matches into the season.
"It was really tough losing Toneeka like that," said senior hitter Nikeeta Pope. "We wanted this for her, but we tried and that's important. We could have done better."
Severna Park raced to a 5-0 lead in the first game, but Edmondson remained composed and cut the gap to 6-3 and 9-6 before the Falcons pulled away for a nine-point victory.
In the second game, Edmondson stayed close early thanks to the serving of Pope and captain Latarsia Wilson. Edmondson trailed by scores of 2-1, 6-3 and 6-4 before the Falcons piled up the points.
"It wasn't what I expected, and I don't mean to be rude," said Severna Park junior hitter Jen Conner.
"I thought they would be better, but they didn't seem to have the skills of a lot of the county teams we play."
Senior Catherine Kirk had four kills and five aces to run her season totals to 113 and 50, respectively; junior Julie Kasprzak had six kills to give her a team-leading 129.
Lori Sharpless chipped in with five kills (70 for the season), and Jaime Pirotte had six aces to run her club-leading number to 54. Sharpless and Pirotte are both seniors.
"You hear rumors about teams you don't know anything about, and you would rather be disappointed that they were not good than disappointed that you lost because you took them lightly," said coach Tim Dunbar.
"We got a chance to work on some new plays and offense. I'm only concerned that we were not that sharp because you have to be to win a state championship, and that's our goal, to win the state championship."