NEWS & NOTES

Northern Volleyball Stands Tall

Northern Coach Beth Incrocci scheduled back-to-back volleyball matches against No. 6 River Hill and No. 1 Centennial to start the season to gauge where the Patriots stand among the area's elite teams.

After yesterday's 15-11, 15-6, 15-10 win over top-ranked and visiting Centennial, No. 2 Northern (2-0) stands tall. Just don't tell Incrocci.

"We're nowhere near the team I want us to be at the end of the season, but we've had a nice start," said Incrocci, whose Northern team defeated River Hill on Wednesday and takes on state runner-up Severna Park next week. "We purposefully tried to build a very intense start to our season. We do that with the opportunity to learn where our strengths and where our weaknesses are."

Centennial jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first game. But Northern regrouped with a timeout and tied the score at 10 before winning 15-11.

"It definitely gave us more confidence to come back on a team as good as Centennial when they have us 8-2," Incrocci said.

The Patriots were led by senior setter Tera Blevins, who had 46 assists and six kills. Senior outside hitter Katie Radford added 16 kills and middle blocker Mattie Weber had 10 kills.

Centennial (0-1), the three-time defending Maryland 2A champion, yielded just one ace to Northern.

"The score does not indicate the intensity of the match by any means," Incrocci said. "Their defensive specialists are just amazing. They have amazing serve-receiving passing and defensive passing. They are truly a tough team."

WORTH QUOTING

"Normally, on a QB sneak you expect to gain a foot or two. With Brian, we can get five yards. He's just so big."

-- Northwest Coach Randy Trivers, referring to 6-foot-3, 235 quarterback Brian Shaw, who scored standing up on a sneak yesterday in a win over Einstein.

BY THE NUMBERS

40.5: Average yards per carry by Seneca Valley QB Chris Kelley, who ran four times for 162 yards and two TDs in a 50-0 win. Kelley also threw for 152 yards and three TDs.

60: Players who participate in Northwest's offseason conditioning drills -- which started two weeks after last season ended.

199: First-half rushing yards by Einstein's Umar Ferguson on 12 carries in 13-6 loss to Northwest.

44: Second-half rushing yards by Ferguson on eight carries.