Maryland 4A volleyball: Severna Park serves its way past Wootton, into state final; High Point falls

November 13, 2013

Kara Glynn watched the aces drop to the floor, one after another, asSeverna Parkcruised through a lopsided second set in its Maryland 4A semifinal match Wednesday night.

After each ace, the players on the Falcons’ bench stood, stomped on the court and pointed toward the ceiling at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum. Then they sat down. Then stood up and stomped. Then sat down again.

Glynn was asked if she had ever recorded four aces in a row before.

“I don’t think so,” she said, smiling. “That was surprising.”

There were otherwise few surprises or concerns for Glynn and Severna Park as they rolled Wootton in straight sets, 25-10, 25-7, 25-18. The Falcons will face Dulaney in the 4A state title match Saturday after the Baltimore County champions swept High Point, 25-15, 25-12, 25-15, in Wednesday’s second semifinal.

“I think that just put them back on their heels for the whole match,” Severna Park Coach Tim Dunbar said of his team’s early serving success. “When you fall in a hole, it’s really hard to dig yourself out of it. We just put them in a hole with our serving.”

The Falcons (17-2) used a blend of size and power on the attack, leaving Patriots Coach Mary Malinauskas at a loss for words. Nearly 15 minutes after the match had ended, she still couldn’t find the right way to describe the loss.

“I think when we started out the year, I don’t think any of us imagined that we’d come to Ritchie and play,” Malinauskas said after a long pause. “Once we imagined it and once we achieved it, I think we wish we had done a little better.”

Severna Park had 11 aces, including Glynn’s four straight in the second set. The senior outside hitter also had nine kills, while Sophie Hoekstra finished with eight and Lauren Kirchenheiter had a match-high 13.

With seven players at 5-feet-10 or taller, the Falcons towered over their Montgomery County opponents. Playing in its first semifinal since 2007, Wootton (14-4) didn’t have the size to effectively block their attacks, giving setter Morgan Kline a number of options on each point.

“I feel like I can go anywhere,” said Kline, who finished with 28 assists. “I feel like whoever I go to, they just have my back and just slam it down.”

Despite Wednesday’s defeat, High Point (14-3) left Ritchie Coliseum with optimism. The Eagles avenged a regular-season loss against Bowie last week to claim their first region title since 2005, but they knew they would face a tough test in Dulaney (19-0).

While most of the Lions play club volleyball, none of High Point’s players compete outside of the high school season. The difference, in experience and comfort at a larger venue, was evident.

“Our instincts didn’t really kick in,” High Point senior setter Erica Kittlesen said. “We were thinking too much, I believe. It wasn’t natural today.”

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