Calvert was dominant throughout its sweep of North Caroline in the Maryland 2A volleyball semifinals Tuesday night, but it was late in each of the sets that the Cavaliers really turned it on.
Calvert finished its three sets with runs of 6-2, 10-2 and 10-3, respectively, to beat North Caroline 25-12, 25-14, 25-13 at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum and advance to the 2A state championship. The Bulldogs never led against the Cavaliers (18-4) and managed to draw even in a set just twice, at 1 in the second set and at 4 in the third.
“We really wanted to start out with crushing them and we really wanted to beat them in three,” senior middle blocker Kara Collins said. “I think we did pretty good at that. We really wanted to start off good and stay throughout the whole thing.”
The Cavaliers were able to consistently control the ball and the pace of the game against North Caroline, relying on a quick-attack offense that consistently caught the Bulldogs out of position. Bulldogs Coach Doug Clark said Calvert’s quick attack was the first his team had seen this season.
Offensively, the Cavaliers were led by Collins, who finished with six kills, and junior outside hitter Rachel Hornick, who had seven. Defensively, Calvert kept North Caroline from scoring in bunches throughout the match. The Bulldogs scored consecutive points just seven times against Calvert while the Cavaliers had no trouble stringing points together.
“That was part of the report that I had heard, since they didn’t lose much throughout the season, that if we got out to a quick start that they might feel the pressure a little bit,” Calvert Coach Tim Smith said. “That’s also one of our team goals, match-by-match, is to get out to the first five points and 10 points and 15 points and so forth.”
With the win, Calvert advances to face Williamsport on Monday night at 6. Williamsport was also dominant in its semifinal victory, topping Loch Raven, 25-4, 25-5, 25-7. Asked what her team needed to do to earn a state championship Monday night, Calvert senior Lauren Carman said her team’s plan would remain the same.
“We just need to have heart and passion,” she said, prompting her coach to knock on the wooden floor of the media room. “Whenever we do that we just play 20 million times better. We just need to play our game.”