"It's always nice to come home," said Owings Mills volleyball coach Lisa Meyer. "But it's even nicer to leave with a victory."
That's exactly what the 1981 Catonsville High graduate got from her fifth-ranked Eagles, who defeated her alma mater on the road, 25-9, 25-16, 25-9, in a nonleague, Baltimore County match yesterday.
Setter Stacey Wasserman had 35 assists and three aces on 18-for-20 serving, hitter Nicole Puller was 12-for-12 serving and had 13 kills, and hitter Lindsey Wenderoth had six kills in each game, as Owings Mills (9-1) powered its way to its ninth straight win.
With victories in its remaining three games, the Class 2A-1A leader can clinch a berth in the county title game in two weeks and a likely rematch with 4A-3A leader Towson, which soundly defeated the Eagles in their season opener.
"We were pathetic the first time we played Towson," Meyer said. "But we can face them again, provided we win the rest of our games."
Puller served the first three points of the initial game for a 3-0 lead, and Wenderoth served five straight as the Eagles led 11-4. The Comets trailed 15-5 after Melissa Berlin sandwiched a couple of service aces around a block by the 5-foot-8 Wasserman. From there, Wasserman and Wenderoth dominated at the net in a game capped by a service ace by Elana Shpritz.
"We showed a powerful, consistent attack and we were able to block well," Meyer said. "The last week and a half, we've really picked our game up."
First-year coach Nancy Bauer's youthful Comets, who graduated several seniors and start only three in significant roles, were feistier in the second game, leading 4-2 and holding 5-5 and 6-6 ties before relinquishing the lead for good at 7-6.
Sophomore Mallorie Clary, one of the county's premier setters, was serving at 11-9 when Wenderoth's kill returned possession to Owings Mills. Wasserman's ace capped a string of four straight serves for a 16-9 lead. Owings Mills outscored Catonsville 9-5 from there.
"They [the Comets] stepped it up it in the second game, but I told our girls that attitude was going to be the difference," Wasserman said. "We raised our energy even higher and put all of our might into it."
Wenderoth served nine consecutive points in the third game, turning a 7-5 lead into a 16-5 advantage.
Clary, a sophomore, served 8-for-9 with two aces and had 32 assists. She has been successful on 163 of 165 serves.