- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Volleyball team sweeps top-seeded Friendly, meets La Plata for third-straight 3A South championship match
By AJ MASON
FORT WASHINGTON Another chapter will be written today in the La Plata-Northern volleyball rivalry as the two will do battle for the third straight season in the Class 3A South Region championship match in what will be a packed gymnasium at La Plata High School.
But before that could be accomplished, fourth-seeded Northern had a region semifinal match to play. And in a rematch of last year’s regional semifinals, the Patriots swept top-seeded Friendly of Prince George’s County in three games, 25-12, 25-18, 25-5, for the second straight season in the battle of Patriots on Wednesday night.
With the victory, Northern (11-5 overall) are back in the regional championship for the fifth straight year and will clash against the second-seeded Warriors (14-2) at 5:30 p.m. today.
La Plata defeated third-seeded Huntingtown in Wednesday’s other semifinal contest, three games to one.
Northern head coach Beth Radford said that her team is excited to see La Plata again. The Warriors have won four out of the last five meetings, including a five-game win on Sept. 27.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and it’s great to have a chance to play for the regional title,” said Radford, whose team has lost the last two regional finals to the Warriors. “We had a rough start, it’s always tough to play on the road, but we pulled together.”
Friendly (13-2), which defeated eighth-seeded Thomas Stone in four games in Monday’s quarterfinals, took an early 4-0 lead in Game 1. But the game then was tied at 7 until Northern exploded to a 10-0 run to help secure the 13-point win.
There was no answer for senior outside hitter Molly Anadale, who had six of her match-high 13 kills in Game 1. Anadale was on fire, slamming point after point over the net over the course of the match.
“After the first kill, I kept just hitting it over the net,” Anadale said. “I received great passes from my setter [Jess Ward], she set it up perfect at the net for me and I just finished it off.”
Radford added, “Molly had a very good match and got hot early. “We started to play well as the game went on and focused on what we needed to do.”
Ward, a senior, continued to be efficient with her passes and finished with a match-high 17 assists, had three kills and added four digs.
“Molly was definitely on fire,” said Ward, who was freshman on the 2009 state title team. “It’s important to make good passes for my hitters, and I wanted to do that tonight. I’m excited to go to the regional final; I’ve been there every season since I was a freshman, so that game is always a big deal.”
Northern went up 7-1 in Game 2, but Friendly came back to take a 9-8 lead and later went up 11-10. Northern responded to take a 19-14 lead, but Friendly again came to within three points. However, Northern went on to close the game out on a 6-1 run.
“It was a tough match from the start, the game was scrappy,” said Northern senior defensive specialist Kelly DePaulo, who registered seven digs in the match. “A lot of random balls were going over the net. Friendly played with a lot of energy, but we responded well. The regional final is going to be huge, we want that one.”
In Game 3, Northern got out to a 12-2 lead and never looked back.
“They were anxious and ready to play,”said Friendly head coach Tiffany Miller-Bevins, whose team will lose seven seniors to graduation. “I think in the second set we were getting frustrated and Northern took advantage.”
Senior middle hitter Cailyn Thomas registered five kills, and senior middle blocker Janay Carter added three blocks in the loss.