Defending Maryland 3A volleyball champion Calvert lost for the first time in nearly two years yesterday, dropping a 2A South Region semifinal to visiting Atholton, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-10.

After spotting Calvert a 3-1 lead in the final game, Atholton (11-5) scored 10 straight points behind the serving of Rachel Burke to seize control. The third-ranked Cavaliers (15-1) had won 34 consecutive matches since losing the 2002 3A South final to Patuxent. That streak did not seem to bother Atholton.

"I never did tell [my players] about it," said Atholton Coach Bruce Lindblad, whose team has no seniors. "When you start thinking you could play with them, that's when you start to believe in yourselves."

IAC, MIAA Deal Off

The proposed merger between the Interstate Athletic Conference and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association for football has been called off, MIAA Executive Director Rick Diggs said.

The conferences had been in talks for more than a year -- the Baltimore-based MIAA had even passed an amendment to its bylaws to help facilitate a deal -- but the sides were unable to reach an agreement. Diggs declined to discuss specifics, but indicated he would be willing to listen if the IAC wanted to restart negotiations.

The proposal called for Georgetown Prep, Landon, St. Albans, Episcopal, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes and Bullis to join the MIAA's A and B conferences for football next year.

"I'm disappointed that it didn't happen," Diggs said. "It would have been great for the two communities and for the schools involved. [The MIAA] has done all it can."

Prep Wins Soccer Title

Senior forwards Anthony Tijero and Danny Glading scored to lead No. 9 Georgetown Prep to a 2-0 win over host Bullis and its third straight IAC boys' soccer title.

-- Alan Goldenbach,

Tarik El-Bashir and Andrew Levine