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Calvert volleyball found itself trailing and responded with big runs to stay within striking distance, but the holes were just too deep to dig out of as it fell in three games to Williamsport of Washington County, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-22, on Nov. 19 at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum in College Park in the Class 2A state championship match

Calvert missed its chance of gathering the third-ever state championship for the volleyball program after winning it all in 1998 and 2003 as a 3A school. It would have been the first ever in the 2A classification.

“It was definitely nerves to start, especially on serve-receive,” said Calvert head coach Tim Smith, who was named the All-SMAC and All-County Coach of the Year. “Serving and passing are the parts of the game that can get into your head, especially when there’s nerves. Our ball control wasn’t there at times, and we were second guessing ourselves. We played hard tonight, we just came up short.”

Junior Courtney Malott gave Williamsport a 23-22 lead when she found the back left corner with a push for the last of her four kills in Game 3. Virginia Tech-bound and middle hitter Stacey Christy’s block gave the Wildcats match point, 24-22. And Williamsport claimed the title on the very next point.

“That’s been the story of our team we like to come from behind,” said senior setter Lauren Carman, who finished with 24 assists and nine digs. “We were nervous, really nervous I can tell you. I felt like I was going to throw up the entire game.”

Calvert finished 15-2 overall, (9-1 SMAC), its lone loss before the state championship match was to 3A state semifinalist La Plata in five games during the regular season. The Cavaliers won the SMAC title and their second straight 2A South Region crown. The Cavaliers had five seniors, four of them were named to the All-SMAC teams. Carman won All-County Athlete of the Year honors.

“I continued to think about losing this group of seniors,” Smith said a day after the state final. “They were the first class that I saw through all four years and I coached some of them for four varsity seasons and two club seasons. They have grown from scared, awkward, bright-eyed freshmen to confident, experienced, skilled young women. I can't imagine showing up in the gym without them. This season is the end of an era.”

AJ MASON