Three times Monday night, Calvert found itself behind in its Maryland 2A championship match against Williamsport, and three times Monday night the Cavaliers managed to claw their way back into the set.
Each time though, the hole Calvert had dug for itself turned out to be too deep as the Cavaliers fell in three sets to Williamsport, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22, in College Park.
The win gave Williamsport its 13th state championship in volleyball, the most of any 2A school in Maryland and the second most overall behind Centennial’s 14. It was Williamsport’s second state title since the May 5 car accident that killed Sam Kelly and Brandon Colliflower on their way home from the high school’s senior prom. Colliflower was a pitcher on the Williamsport team that won the state championship later that spring and Kelly was the captain of the Wildcats’ 2011 volleyball team.
“I said earlier in the year that I kind of feel like we cheated this year because we had seven on the court instead of six,” Williamsport Coach Emily Crabtree said. “Sam was a good friend to everybody on the team, and we knew she wouldn’t be playing with us this year but she would have been here and she would have been supporting us all the way through. . . . We had to finish it with another happy ending to an otherwise tragedy.”
Williamsport rode the momentum and energy from a sizeable cheering section, many wearing “win for Sam” T-shirts, to a 21-10 first-set lead before Calvert began chipping away. The Cavaliers managed to close the first-set gap to just two points at 24-22 but couldn’t finish their comeback.
Williamsport again staked itself to a sizeable advantage in the second set, using a 7-0 run to take a 22-13 lead. The Cavaliers again fought back, using an 9-0 run to tie the score at 22 before running out of gas.
“We were nervous, really nervous, I can tell you,” senior Lauren Carman said. “I felt like I was going to throw up throughout the entire game.”
“They obviously had the crowd behind them. I think we were nervous and they had a lot of momentum with all the people,” senior Karli Hawxhurst added. “I’m really happy they could do it for that girl though.”
Williamsport was led by senior and Virginia Tech recruit Stacey Christy, who had 12 kills and a block against the Cavaliers. Junior Rachel Hornick was the only Cavalier in double figures on offense with 11 kills.