Severna Park started fast and played confidently to take the first game, 25-22, but lost the next three games, 25-22, 25-19, 25-17, to Northern of Calvert County in the Class 3A South semifinals last night.
The host and No. 6 Falcons last won a regional title in 2001, but lost to Northern in the 3A final that year.
Northern (14-2), the No. 6 team in the Washington area, plays at the Washington area's No. 2, Calvert High, tomorrow night for the regional title. Northern's only two losses this season have been to Calvert while Severna Park (13-4) has lost to both and defending 4A champion Broadneck (16-1) twice.
Broadneck's only loss was to Northern.
Hitters Heather Schreiber led Northern with 18 kills, nine digs and three aces. Brett Miller had five kills, 12 digs and four aces, and Courtney Shay had eight kills.
"They're a very good team," said third-year Falcons coach Julie Allen, whose girls lost a scrimmage to Northern in five games in late August.
"Our first three games were good, but we lost steam and got tired because the rallies were so long. It was hot in here and we had a lot of unforced errors on our side and we weren't moving toward the end of the third game."
The Falcons got off to the great start on the hitting of sophomore Ashlee Allen, who finished with 12 kills, 18-for-19 serving with an ace and 11 digs, and Lynn Cipollone, who had seven kills, 11-for-13 serving with three aces and eight digs.
Two kills by Allen closed out the first game.
"We knew after we lost the first game that we had to take the second because we were playing an excellent team," said Northern's second-year coach, Andrea Hoover. "They played us very well in the scrimmage we had with them in the preseason."
In the second game, setter Rachael Caruso set up a 20-20 tie before the Patriots pulled away on the hitting of Schreiber, Barry Reidy and Shay.
Game 3 was crucial and was back and forth with Katherine O'Brien (seven kills, eight digs, four blocks) and Caitlin Ware (15-for-16 serving, six digs) playing well for the Falcons.
Said Cipollone, who had two blocks and two kills late in Game 3: "I'm really proud of the way we played. We could not have played any better."
Midway through, the Patriots started rolling and closed at 25-19. The Patriots took an 11-4 lead in the final game and cruised to the clincher.
"We established the middle, and our defense clicked against a very good team," Hoover said.
"We fought for every point and we played as best we could," said Caruso, who had a match-high 23 assists and was 15-for-15 serving with two aces.
"It's really disappointing, especially when you see how stacked our region is."
No. 1 Glenelg def. Howard, 25-11, 25-14, 25-17: Rebecca Tursell sparked the host Gladiators (16-0) with 14 kills in a victory over the Lions in 2A South.
No. 2 Towson def. Western, 25-11, 25-17, 25-23: Laura Maas had 12 kills and Emmie Williams totaled 28 assists to power the host Generals (17-0) past the Doves in 3A North.
Towson faces Catonsville tomorrow in the regional final.
No. 3 Broadneck def. South River, 25-19, 25-16, 25-10: Dana Mullenhard scored four aces, eight kills, five digs and three blocks to power the Bruins (15-1) past the visiting Seahawks (11-6) in 4A East.
Mandy Gerolstein had nine kills and two blocks. Broadneck plays host to Patuxent at 6 p.m. tomorrow.
No. 4 Centennial def. River Hill, 25-7, 25-27, 25-13, 23-25, 15-2: Leanna Kelly served the final 13 points of the match to lead the Eagles (15-2) past the visiting Hawks in 3A East.
No. 10 Mount Hebron def. Douglass-PG, 25-7, 25-14, 25-20: Maggie Serks had 15 consecutive serves, including six aces in the first game, to pace the Vikings (12-4) past the host Eagles (10-3) in 3A East.
Mount Hebron plays host to Centennial tomorrow in the regional final.
Catonsville def. No. 12 C. Milton Wright, 20-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20: Katie Keller had 19 kills as the host Comets upset the Mustangs (13-2) in 3A North.
No. 14 Poly def. Edmondson, 25-13, 25-8, 25-15: Alycia Williams-Chase and Erica Turnbull teamed up for 13 kills as the Engineers (15-1) swept the visiting Red Storm in 2A North.
Poly faces Owings Mills in the final.
Sun staff reports contributed to this article.