Mt. de Sales wins 'A' crown

girls volleyball iaam championships

Buck outshines St. Paul's Webster

NDP captures 'B' title

November 02, 2008|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Mount de Sales senior Katy Buck knows what it's like to play against a legend. After yesterday, she knows how to beat one, too.

Buck and her Mount de Sales teammates out-hit, out-dug and out-worked second-ranked and previously undefeated St. Paul's, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22 to win the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship at Roland Park.

In the process, the third-ranked Sailors (15-2) ended the IAAM career of Bailey Webster (22 kills, three blocks). Webster, the top-ranked volleyball recruit in the country according to Prep Volleyball magazine, announced Friday that she will attend the University of Texas on a volleyball scholarship.

"We've been preparing for this all year," said Buck, who has played on the varsity since she was a freshman. "We felt like if we played our game today, then no one could stop us."

Mount de Sales led most of the first game and pulled away toward the end for a 25-21 victory. After faltering in the second game, the Sailors kept feeding the ball to Buck (23 kills, 16 digs, two aces) and fellow senior Kasey Mercier (24 kills) for emphatic kills.

The Sailors played much better defense against Webster and the Gators than they did in September, when they dropped a 3-2 decision at St. Paul's (17-1). Mount de Sales coach Kenny Mills credits that improvement as being a major factor in today's win.

"We just needed to make a defensive adjustment," said Mills, who coached his last game at Mount de Sales yesterday before he moves to Massachusetts for a new job. "I moved my setters [Elissa Boffen and Kelly McGraw, who had 48 assists], and they were getting to a lot more balls today. That, and the fact that we dug up Bailey very well."

"The better team won today," St. Paul's coach Kelli Wilkinson said. "We're not a good blocking team, and they took advantage of that. They were much more well-rounded than we were today."

In the B Conference championship, No. 15 Notre Dame Prep swept Mercy, 25-16, 25-21, 25-13 to win the title. The Blazers' (15-1) only loss of the year came to Mercy (15-4) early in the season, and Notre Dame Prep has won 11 straight since then.

"We just went out and had fun," Blazers senior Alexis Sanders said. "I won this title as a freshman [NDP's last championship team], so it feels good to come back and do it as a senior. Our team communicated so well today."

Said Blazers coach Kim Bryson: "We had four great seniors and unbelievable setter, and it all came together. Our net play and passing were exceptional today."

In the C Conference final, Beth Tfiloh (11-3) defeated Catholic (13-5), 26-24, 25-16, 25-20.

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