For a group of Northern High volleyball seniors, the highlight of the season thus far came last night, when the top-ranked Patriots defeated previously unbeaten and second-ranked Calvert, 15-2, 15-10, 15-6, in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference matchup in Prince Frederick.

Calvert is the defending Maryland 3A champion and has combined with Northern to win the past 10 state titles.

Patriots seniors Tera Blevins, Devin Karcesky, Tiffany Sands, Katie Radford, Jessica Coleman and Mattie Weber have been playing volleyball together since middle school and have always talked about winning a championship. The victory over Calvert gives them reason to believe they are nearing that goal.

"When we walked in [to Calvert's gym], I remembered how they took our game away last year," Radford said. "So I told our team that we had to do it, that we had to go after every ball."

Northern (9-0), which lost last year to the Cavaliers in a five-game regional final, had too much depth and experience last night for Calvert (6-1). The Patriots had four players tally at least four kills and were led by Radford and junior Darcey Krug with 14 kills apiece.

Northern dominated from the start. With the first game tied at 2, the Patriots reeled off 13 straight points, losing their serve only twice during that span. In the second game, Krug capped a four-point Northern run with the final two kills and then closed out the match by scoring three of the Patriots' final four points.

"We knew what they were going to throw at us," said Calvert Coach Dave Redden, who is in his first season. "But we just couldn't stop them."