Despite a gritty performance, Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s girls volleyball team couldn’t get past Arundel in the Class 4A state semifinals and lost in three sets, 25-20, 25-15, 25-18, on Thursday at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum.
“I felt like the two teams were pretty evenly matched,” Roosevelt coach Eileen Lloyd said. “I’m just really proud considering where we came from, where we started the season and everything. Just their individual growth and their growth as a team. They’re amazing young ladies.”
In all three sets the Raiders (17-1) kept the game close until midway through, when Arundel pulled away.
In the first set, Roosevelt led until the game was tied at 10. That tie came during a 13-0 run by Wildcats (19-0), which ended with Arundel leading 20-10.
The results were similar in the third set, with the Raiders trailing 13-10 only to allow a 9-3 run, effectively taking them out of the set and the match.
The Raiders especially had trouble with hits from the middle. Arundel’s Ashlee Felton and Shannon Kelly each recorded nine kills, most coming from the center.
The biggest difficulty “was lining up with the hit and just taking away the hit completely,” Roosevelt outside hitter Meya Ngundam said. “Or taking some off of it to make the defense easier.”
Many of Roosevelt’s points came via Wildcat errors. The Raiders put themselves in those positions by playing strong defensively, extending several rallies with opportune digs.
“We definitely didn’t want anything to touch the ground, that was a big thing,” Roosevelt’s Kristin Watson said. “On the court, we almost had all seniors and we wanted to do that for them and they wanted to do it for themselves. We knew they were going to be a hard team and they were to hit at us. That’s a different thing that we’re not necessarily used to and don’t see too often. ... I think we really showed up.”
This was the first trip to states for the Raiders’ six seniors and even though they aren’t leaving with the title, they said they are still proud of what they did.
“I think even though we went through a lot this season and the last couple years, we played together as a team,” Roosevelt senior Raquel Shortt said. “We were able to bring it together even with this tough competition. We were able to step it up and bring it together as a whole. We played our best.”
Arundel 3, Eleanor Roosevelt 0
Arundel 25 25 25 — 3
Eleanor Roosevelt 20 15 18 — 0
Arundel — Ashlee Felton 9, Shannon Kelly 9, Allison Orr 6, Gabrielle Bryant 4.
Eleanor Roosevelt — Meya Ngundam 8, Kristin Watson 4, Raquel Shortt 2.