Patuxent's volleyball team was rattled and upset Monday afternoon, and junior captain Christy Redgate had had enough.
After a couple of controversial line calls went against them as they lost the first two games of their Maryland 4A East Region quarterfinal to Chesapeake, the Panthers were struggling to keep their composure as they gathered before the third game.
"Christy came in and told everyone: 'I'm not going to take this. This is our home court,' " Patuxent Coach Erica Weems said. "Once she said that, the whole team came together, and you just knew they weren't going to lose."
The Panthers shook off the close calls and rallied to win, 22-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 15-13, and advance to yesterday's regional semifinal at No. 5 Broadneck, which defeated Patuxent in the region final last year en route to the 4A title.
The close calls "just made me mad because some of them were key calls, and it seemed like [officials] were trying to overtake the game," Weems said. "During the timeout [between the second and third games] I had to reset their minds and remind them that it's our home gym.
"And that's when Christy spoke up, and they really followed her."
Weems said the region forgot to assign officials to the match, and none were secured until 1:30 p.m., pushing back the start of the match 30 minutes to 5:30. For a while, it appeared the match was going to have to be played Tuesday, forcing the winner to play on consecutive days.
"It was a real tough day," Weems said, "but it proved we are a fighting team, and that's the number one thing you want in them as a coach."
Leonardtown Gets a Scare
Leonardtown Coach Shirley Geisbert worried that it was going to be tough motivating her team for its Maryland 3A South quarterfinal against La Plata. She had good reason to be concerned.
After sweeping a pair of regular season matches with the Warriors, including the teams' season finale Oct. 28, La Plata took the first game from Leonardtown. The Warriors eventually pushed the Raiders to five games before Leonardtown prevailed, 15-3, in the decisive game.
Geisbert said her players' poor serving in the first game showed that they were just a little too confident that they could walk over La Plata. The Raiders missed eight serves en route to a 25-23 loss.
"That's always my pet peeve," Geisbert said. "You can't go in with that kind of philosophy, but it's hard to get them to believe that."
When Leonardtown's serving picked up, so did its results. Behind three straight aces from Sydney Lindblad and five straight service points from Alexis Harrison, the Raiders won the second game. Erin Brewer served 13 straight points en route to a third-game victory. In the fifth game, Brewer and Harrison served up streaks of four and six straight points to put away La Plata.