Broadneck's title defense falls short in semifinals



College Park -- With a two-game lead in its Class 4A state semifinal match against Gaithersburg, Broadneck seemed poised to advance to yet another state title match last night.

Then the Trojans began to click. With the Bruins seemingly powerless to stop them, the Trojans rallied for a 3- 2 victory at Ritchie Coliseum, ending Broadneck's state title defense.

"This is a new feeling," said Broadneck senior setter Stephanie Carey, who had won state semifinal matches in each of her previous three seasons.

It appeared early on that Carey and her teammates would experience a familiar feeling in the semifinals. Instead, after the Bruins (18-4) won the first two games, 25-23 and 25-22, the Trojans took over.

Gaithersburg (18-0) controlled the ball and moved it around, found holes in the Broadneck defense and landed several powerful kills. The Trojans won the next two games, 25-21 and 25-19, then built a quick 4-1 lead in the decisive fifth game.

Broadneck coach Romonzo Beans called a timeout, but the Bruins could not halt the Trojans. Gaithersburg scored the final four points of the game, clinching the match with a 15-8 win when junior Erin Mason placed the ball in front of a diving Nikki Werth, Broadneck's senior outside hitter.

Despite the loss, Beans was proud of what the Bruins accomplished after an 0-3 start this season.

"Both these teams played with a lot of heart," Beans said. "We have people that can stop them. ... To be in the zone, that's just one of those things."

Dulaney 3, High Point 0 -- When Cary Lyon came to Dulaney last season, he hoped to return the Lions to the level they reached in 1999 and 2000, when they won state championships. After ousting High Point, the Lions are just one win away from that goal. Dulaney dominated South region champion High Point in the other 4A semifinal, controlling play and making few errors in rolling to a three-game sweep, 25-9, 25-11, 25-15. "We were the stronger all-around team." Lyon said, "in all categories." Dulaney played a disciplined style and was able to keep High Point from employing its system of play for most of the match, Lyon said. That's because the Lions concentrated and played at the top of their game, said junior outside hitter Mara Schmitz, who had seven kills and six aces to pace Dulaney. "All of the teams here have skills," Schmitz said. But not all could match Dulaney's effort last night. Junior middle blocker Chelsea Manning added seven kills and senior outside hitter Stacy McWilliams had seven aces for the Lions, who are in the state final for the first time in five years. "It's amazing," Schmitz said. "It's what we wanted all year."

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