Featuring two talented groups of brothers and powerful jump serving, the Havre de Grace boys volleyball team found itself in the middle of a three-team race for the Harford County championship last week.
The Warriors are tied for second with Bel Air for the regular-season title with an 11-2 record, trailing first-place Fallston (12-1) by one game entering the home stretch. Fallston gained first place by handing Havre de Grace both of its losses.
The groups of brothers that are carrying the Warriors are senior James Beck and freshman brother John, along with junior John Rogers and freshman Justin.
James Beck and John Rogers are both strong outside hitters and outstanding back-row players. Beck has more than 500 kills in his four-year career.
Havre de Grace often wins a point before the ball gets to the front line, prompting coach Gary Wasielewski to say, "We've been able to take some teams out based on our serve alone."
James Beck is the most feared jump server on the team.
"James' jump serve is a very tough ball to handle," Wasielewski said. "The velocity it comes over with is something else and then it simply drops once it gets over the net. It's a very tight shot that has a spin on it causing the ball to drop."
The rest of the starting lineup has Bobby Wloczewski, Kareem Collins and Jonathan Statina.
Wasielewski said his team has had trouble against Fallston this season because "they have a very strong defense. They swarm the ball. They cover the court fast."
The Warriors coach said, "It's really hard to find a place on their side of the court where they're not. They cover so quickly. Even for our good hitters like John and James, it's a hard thing to find a place to put the ball."
To halt that swarming defense, Wasielewski said his team needs to get all six players involved in the offense "not just James [Beck] and John [Rogers]."
Havre de Grace will most likely get another shot at Fallston on Wednesday during the one-day double-elimination Harford County volleyball tournament at Bel Air at 3 p.m.
C.M. Wright golf wins
Jeff Childs shot a nine-hole 38 to lead C. Milton Wright to the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division golf championship.
The Mustangs (213) won the team title by 10 strokes over Rising Sun (213), with Bel Air (226) third and Fallston (227) fourth.
Sizemore takes fifth
Julia Sizemore from Bel Air tied for fifth place in the state golf tournament last week at Maryland.
Sizemore's two-round 162 tied Hilary Lawson of Magruder. Both girls were 13 shots behind the winner, Lauren Smith of Arundel.
The Bel Air golfer was one of the more consistent players, shooting 82 and 80 on two cold and windy days in College Park. The wind chill was around 40 degrees each day with gusting winds that forced scores up.
Katey Bertier from North Harford (184) and C.M. Wright's Samantha Rumbley (186) also qualified for both days. Golfers needed to qualify for the second day after everyone competed in a first round.
Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.