A recent loss to Severna Park has become nothing more than a bump in the road for No. 5 Glen Burnie.
The Gophers have won three straight matches since then, including yesterday's 19-17, 15-10, 15-6 sweep of No. 3 Broadneck. And they are steering toward another showdown with the Falcons on Nov. 1 at Arundel, this time for the county championship.
"This was exciting volleyball," said Glen Burnie coach Juanita Milani, whose team still must face Annapolis and No. 14 Chesapeake. "This is the level of play we wanted to see all year. This is what you coach your team to do."
Glen Burnie (11-1), which lost a five-game marathon to Severna Park Oct. 11, did pretty much whatever it wanted in the last game yesterday. But the first two were a test of endurance.
The visiting Bruins scored the first seven points of the opening game, and later took a 14-9 lead after a kill by Theresa Koester. Heather Hutson then began the comeback with a kill, and Amy Hutson finished it with a dink.
In between, there were four ties. The game lasted 31 minutes, and it proved to be the turning point.
"That was a big factor," said Broadneck coach Tom Cole. "I thought whoever came up with that first game would have the momentum."
It took a while for Glen Burnie to show it.
Broadneck led three times in the second game, but couldn't sustain the strong play at the net that earlier had given Glen Burnie trouble.
Heather Hutson (nine kills, 15 assists) served three straight winners for an 8-6 lead, and Jen Stapler served the last four. She also ended the game with a kill.
"We had trouble adjusting to their height at first," Milani said. "This is the first team that really blocked us at the net. But they didn't give up. They didn't just roll over. They knew they had to do something."
Like many of the Gophers, Stapler did plenty. She finished with three kills, one assist and 7-of-9 serving.
Denise Warren was 16-for-18 serving with six kills and two assists. Stacey Ellenberger was 8-for-9 with three kills and four blocks.
Megan Matukonis was 14-for-14 with two aces, five kills and one assist.Amy Hutson was 15-for-15 with six kills and 10 assists.
And there was more.
"Their defense was outstanding," Cole said. "They dug up a lot of balls and that was one of the deciding factors."
The Bruins' only previous loss had come against South River, a team they will meet again next week. They had won eight in a row and had been 10-1 overall.
Katie Forthofer led Broadneck with 14 kills, and Amy Vandehei had six blocks.