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Calvert volleyball edges Pax in five


Staff writer

With their backs up against the wall for the first time this season, the Calvert Cavaliers volleyball team found a way to force a fifth and deciding game in Monday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference showdown versus host Patuxent.

Trailing 8-6, Calvert exploded to an 8-0 run to take a six-point lead and held off the feisty Panthers in five games by scores of 27-25, 22-25, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-11.

During the 8-0 spurt in Game 5, junior outside hitter Rachel Hornick had five of her team-high 16 kills and Meghan Lanham had two huge aces that helped catapult the Cavaliers to the win.

“I focused on having a high swing and I wanted to finish my shots off strong to make it hard for the defense,” Hornick said. “Our setter Lauren [Carman] gave us some great passes. Patuxent played very hard. This was the first time we played from behind all season, so the game was very competitive. We wanted this, we could not lose. This shows all the hard work and dedication has paid off.”

It was the second time that Calvert (9-0, 7-0 SMAC) had defeated the Panthers, sweeping them in a nonconference affair on Sept. 4 in the team’s first match of the regular season. It also snapped Patuxent’s win streak of eight straight matches.

“This was the second time that we’ve seen [Patuxent], so there were a lot of adjustments,” Calvert head coach Tim Smith said. “We had a lot of confidence that we could pull out the match, but Patuxent played hard and took us to five. The difference was that we made key plays in the final two games.”

“We came through when it was necessary,” Lanham said. “We took a deep breath and got the victory. We needed that, it teaches us how to win close matches.”

Patuxent (8-2, 7-1) gave its county rival all it could handle in a match that had 35 ties and 36 lead changes.

“We played much different in this match than we did in the first match of the season,” Patuxent head coach Kevin Keller said. “This was a game that had a lot of good hitters and defensive players on both sides. Calvert is a great team, they are our familiar foe and we probably will see them again in the [Class 2A South Region] playoffs.”

After winning very close in Game 1, Calvert jumped out to a 16-9 lead in Game 2 only to see the Panthers come back to knot the match at one game apiece.

“We wanted that first set,” Keller said. “Losing that one put a lot of pressure on us, but we responded the next two games. We just came up short in the last set. But this game will help us a lot.”

Game 3 had 14 ties and 11 lead changes, with Patuxent scoring the final two points after it was tied at 23.

Game 4 was tied at 14, but Calvert went on an 11-4 run to take it. The Cavaliers were led by senior middle blocker Kara Collins (14 kills) with five kills during that game.

Patuxent was led by senior outside hitter Shaelynn Schmidt had a team-high 16 kills in the match. Junior middle hitter Madison Scott registered 15 kills, while senior outside hitter Chanel Underwood had 13 kills and junior Megan Wentz added nine kills.

“We watched a lot of film on Calvert from the first time we played them, and we came out more aggressive,” Wentz said. “We played smarter this time and did good on our serve-receive. If we could have pulled out the win in the first set, it could have been a different game. We just needed to cover quicker on defense. Calvert made some plays at the end that hurt us. But this was the best game of the year so far it was so exciting.”

Carman had four aces, while junior middle blocker Tiffanie Horsemen had five kills and six blocks. Karli Hawxhurst had five aces and seven kills.

Calvert 3, Huntingtown 1

The Cavaliers rallied after losing the first game to defeat the host Hurricanes 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23 on Thursday.

Rachel Hornquist had 13 kills and 29 digs and Kara Collins also had 13 kills for the Cavaliers. Hawxhurst added 10 kills and 11 digs and Kara Wood and Alyssa Osburn had 16 and 10 digs, respectively.

Carman had 40 assists and three aces and Horsemen slammed eight kills.

Staff writer Michael Reid contributed to this report.

Calvert 3, Patuxent 2

Calvert 27 22 23 25 15

Patuxent 25 25 25 18 11