- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The last home match on the volleyball court for the Calvert Cavaliers ended in a win.
This win meant more than any other home match it had played this fall.
This win had a Class 2A South Region championship attached to it.
And this win led by seniors Lauren Carman, Kara Collins, Karli Hawxhurst, Meghan Lanham and Alyssa Osburn has the Cavaliers just two matches away from a state championship.
Glenelg of Howard County came back to steal Game 1 of Friday’s regional title match at Calvert Middle School in Prince Frederick Calvert High volleyball’s home away from home this fall due to construction at the high school but Calvert pushed back to win the next three and take the match and the championship by scores of 21-25, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-14.
The Cavaliers (14-1 overall) faced North Caroline of Caroline County (17-0) in the 2A state semifinals on Tuesday evening at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum in College Park. That contest ended too late for inclusion into this edition.
A Calvert win would put it into the state final at 6 p.m. Monday against the winner of the other 2A state semifinal played Tuesday night, which had Williamsport of Washington County taking on Loch Raven of Baltimore County (11-6).
After the regional final victory, Calvert head coach Tim Smith said he just really wanted his team to enjoy the wins.
“I read an article early on about a coach that was retiring and his regret was not enjoying the wins and moving onto the next match too fast,” Smith said.
Osburn said she’s not sure what she’ll see in the next two matches that she hasn’t already seen.
“You really don’t know what to expect,” Osburn said of the upcoming competition. “We really need to expect anything and be on our toes. Communication is the key.”
Osburn, the team’s libero, said her team focused on regrouping quickly after falling in Game 1.
“We all talked about an hour before the game and said we needed to come out strong because the last couple games, we really didn’t have the heart,” Osburn said. “Everyone, even everyone on the bench was 100 percent cheering and I’m so proud of my team. You don’t understand, I’m so proud of them.”
Osburn said Glenelg’s libero Rachel Girard did a great job as well commanding their defense.
“Their defense was good, they had amazing touches,” Osburn said. “Their libero and I had a competition going. I was like, ‘I’m going to get more ups than you, I’m sorry.’ It was definitely great competition. They had a good season, but in the long run we had the heart.”
While Carman and Collins stole the show in the front row, teaming up for kill after kill, the only thing moving too fast in Game 2 was Rachel Hornick’s serve. She served six straight points and earned four of her 11 kills.
“Our serve-receive came out a little slow, but it wasn’t bad,” Smith said.
Collins (9 kills) said the adrenaline and playing next to setter Carman kept her pumped up.
“It starts with a perfect pass and Lauren and I just click right away and we know we just gotta go,” Collins said. “We’re just loud the whole time, yelling at each other like, ‘Pump me up, pump me up.’ She’ll give me a perfect set and I’ll just smash it. They were a really good team, but I think we wanted it more. We got a rough start, but I knew we were going to come out.”
Collins said she expects to see the level of play increase with a faster pace, but she’s sure that her SMAC schedule has prepared her.
“We’ve had great competition in our regular season this year,” Collins said.
Glenelg head coach Don Beall said he thought his team’s Howard County scheduled prepared his team for any other team in Maryland, but his team couldn’t stay in their system against the Cavaliers.
“We’re seeing everything,” Beall said. “I thought today we just couldn’t quite stay in system like we usually do. If we don’t stay in system, it’s hard to run your offense. We weren’t quick enough to the block. They played very well. They were aggressive. They hit our back row well and their setter did a nice job. We weren’t reading it. It was a lot of things.”
And as a result, Calvert got to enjoy one last home win.
“I don’t think we’ve ever played that much together as a team,” Carman said. “Everybody was talking and playing together. I don’t think anything could have messed that up. It feels good [to receive the plaque]. We really want states. We know it’s going to be tough. I just can’t believe it’s my last game here.”