Anne Arundel Community College's volleyball team won the Catonsville Invitational for the first time during the weekend, defeating previously unbeaten Hagerstown, 11-15, 17-15, 15-6, 15-12 in the final.
The Pioneers had swept four teams to get into the championship round.
"It's quite an honor to come out No. 1," said co-coach Betty Hession. "We're not a real big team, so we have to learn to play smart, and that's exactly what we did."
Elena Baloglou registered 29 kills, 11 blocks and 21 block assists. Lori Sharpless had 28 kills and seven block assists. Cassandra Melton had 31 kills and 11 aces. Amy Rottman had 12 blocks and 22 block assists.
Jen Welsh added 31 block assists, 15 kills and 15 blocks. Carrie Parsons registered 22 kills and 23 block assists. Gwen Erlandson had five block assists.
The Pioneers were ranked No. 1 in Region XX with a 12-0 record, but that changed with Tuesday's 3-2 loss to visiting Catonsville, which is coached by Melissa Diehlmann, who led South River to the 2A state tournament last fall. Game scores were 15-9, 15-11, 9-15, 6-15, 15-8.
The Pioneers found out yesterday they are ranked No. 20 in the nation among junior colleges. "This is the first time we've been nationally ranked," Hession said.
The Pioneers play at North Hampton tomorrow night.
Anne Arundel coach Ken Wolf gained his 200th victory last Thursday when the Pioneers downed Hagerstown, 3-2, in overtime.
Wolf, who has coached for 21 seasons, said last week's honor "speaks well of our program and of the type of players we've been able to attract."
Anne Arundel travels to Allegany this afternoon.
Anne Arundel coach Tito Baca had only 11 players available for Sunday's game at SUNY-Farmingdale, but the Pioneers hung tough before losing, 3-0, in overtime. The game was scoreless after regulation.
"They have a very good program, so we were delighted to have played them that well," said Baca, whose team fell to 2-4-1.
The Pioneers visit Montgomery-Rockville Saturday.
Anne Arundel ran in Saturday's Frostburg State Invitational at Rocky Gap State Park, and once again, Lynn Kurchock made an impressive showing.
She placed 14th out of 110 runners, covering the 5,080-meter course in 21 minutes, 2 seconds.
The Pioneers will run at Saturday's Salisbury State Invitational.