No. 3 Severna Park girls volleyball beats No. 13 Arundel for Arundel Invitational Tournament title

September 20, 2014|By Mike Frainie | For The Baltimore Sun

In its second year, the Arundel Invitational Tournament has become the place to go to claim area girls volleyball bragging rights. This year's field featured five ranked teams, including four of the top five, lending the title added significance.

On Saturday, third-ranked Severna Park rallied impressively in the championship game to defeat No. 13 Arundel, the host and defending champion, 25-23, 25-20.

The final's defining moment came at the end of the first set. The Falcons were trailing 23-16, having started the match seemingly flat, when coach Tim Dunbar called a timeout.

"I told them [in the timeout] that [Arundel] was playing like they wanted the ball, and we were playing like we didn't want to make a mistake," Dunbar said. "They responded and played like I knew they could play."

Junior Megan Kline led the rally. The setter served eight consecutive winners to keep Arundel on its heels and give Severna Park the first set, 25-23. Although she had only one ace, she was the Falcons' unquestioned spark.

"She has a nice wiggle in her serve," Dunbar said. "It's kind of like a knuckleball. She saw something in their rotation, and she just kept hitting that same spot. She deserves a lot of credit."

The Wildcats didn't fold in the second set. They battled to an 11-11 tie before Severna Park got two kills by Tara Register and a key block by Shannon Fletcher during a 9-2 run that gave them a 20-13 lead. Back-to-back blocks by Kennedi Colclough and a kill by Kate Shea cut the Wildcats' deficit to 22-19, but they could get no closer.

"We knew we had to play well to beat them because they are a quality team," said Register, a junior. "Morgan made some great plays for us down the stretch, and Sophie [Hoekstra] and Mary [Smith] had some key kills for us. Once we got our momentum going, we got our confidence and got on a roll."

Added Dunbar: "It was a well-played match by both teams. There were a lot of long rallies and some great offensive and defensive volleyball."

Arundel advanced to the final by beating county rival and No. 2 Broadneck, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9. The Falcons moved on by beating top-ranked Dulaney, 25-16, 25-21, in a rematch of last year's Class 4A state title game, which Dulaney won.

Asked whether the win over Dulaney gave the Falcons some sense of revenge, Dunbar didn't hedge.

"I guess, but it's totally different," Dunbar said. "They are not the same team, and we aren't, either. They were missing one or two key players today, too. It's always great to beat a quality opponent, but I'd rather have the state championship trophy."

On Saturday, he settled for a tournament trophy.

Arundel Invitational Tournament

(at Arundel)

Preliminary round standings

Pool A

1. Severna Park, 7-1; 2. Arundel, 7-1; 3. Centennial, 3-5; 4. Notre Dame Prep, 2-6; Leonardtown, 1-7.

Pool B

1. Broadneck, 6-2; 2. Dulaney, 6-2; 3. River Hill, 4-4; 4. Mount de Sales and Calvert, 2-6.

Semifinals

Arundel d Broadneck, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9.

Severna Park d Dulaney, 25-16, 25-21.

Finals

Severna Park d Arundel, 25-23, 25-20.

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