No. 1 Reservoir sweeps Towson, gains state final

Gators face Huntingtown, a state runner-up the past two seasons

Girls Volleyball Class 3A

November 15, 2007|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- Reservoir coach Carole Ferrante has had a sign in her office all season asking her volleyball players where they want to be on Nov. 17. Fortunately for her Gators, they'll be right where she wants them to be.

Top-ranked Reservoir (19-0) used a dominating passing game and a height advantage to defeat No. 10 Towson (14-5), 25-11, 25-22, 25-19, in the Class 3A state semifinals at Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland.

Reservoir got a break off the court when the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association decided to flip-flop the Class 4A title game with the 3A final, allowing the Gators to play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. instead of 2:30 p.m.

Reservoir setter Tiffany Jacobson (16 assists) is a Seventh-day Adventist and cannot play until after sundown on a Saturday.

"I think it's amazing that they did that for Tiffany," Ferrante said. "I admire her for sticking to her religious convictions, and I am happy she'll be here."

The Gators will meet Huntingtown, a 25-17, 25-16, 25-13 winner over Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the other semifinal. That game also will be played at Ritchie Coliseum.

Huntingtown (17-1) will be making its third straight trip to the final after losses the previous two years.

"We were relaxed and extremely focused on getting to Saturday," said Jamie Huffman (15 kills). "There was a really big change in our intensity."

The Generals didn't go quietly into the night, however. After losing the first game in lopsided fashion, 25-11, Towson picked up its defense and led most of the second game. Reservoir, behind Julie Poston's serving, scored the last three points to break a 22-22 tie and take the game.

Even down two games, Towson continued to fight. Led by senior Alexa Carney (nine digs), the Generals took a 6-4 lead before Reservoir closed out the match.

"We didn't start off too good and we couldn't get our offense going," Towson coach Jayne Lacy said. "We played much better in the final two games. I thought we played with a lot of heart tonight."

For the Gators, the win was a validation of their season. Reservoir played in last season's 2A state title game, and was up two games to none in the final before falling to North East of Cecil County.

"I had nightmares about this place," Ferrante said. "But now the demons are gone."

The Gators know they will have their hands full Saturday with Huntingtown. The Hurricane lost to Reservoir in a preseason tournament, 3-0, and also 2-0 in two close games in North Caroline's Bulldog Classic Tournament in September.

"[They] will be ready for us," Ferrante said. "We have tape on them, and they have tape on us. It's going to be a great game on Saturday."

In the first semifinal, Huntingtown's Margie Maresca (12 kills) and Lauren Jeschelnick (26 assists) were too much for Montgomery County's Bethesda-Chevy Chase (14-4), and the Barons fell, 3-0.

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