Maryland State Championship Review
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The Maryland State championships are complete. Below are the results. My only prediction at the start of the season for Maryland was that Richard Montgomery would win the Class 4 state championship. Pretty bold prediction since they had never won…
The Maryland State championships are complete. Below are the results. My only prediction at the start of the season for Maryland was that Richard Montgomery would win the Class 4 state championship. Pretty bold prediction since they had never won a championship and had even failed to make it to the state tournament last year. Of course, none of that was known to me when I made the prediction. For me, when I looked at the talent on the roster it seemed like a no doubter.
Rockets Rise to the Championship
During the national anthem the student section screams out “rockets red glare” when that line is reached. Pretty cool to see that enthusiasm to start a match. Both teams had some height on their side. Neither team last year appeared in the States last year.
The first set was the most competitive, although it did not start out that way. The Rockets jumped out to an early 12-3 lead with serving accounting for five aces. Ankill extended the lead to 20-11. That is when the 6’0″ outside powered the Raiders to life with two aces and two blocks to pull them to within one 24-23. Middle rescued the Rockets from collapse with a tip kill that gave them the win 25-23.
During the start of the second setand powered some early shots to the floor, keeping pace with the Raiders 6’2″ middle who countered with two kills and one block. The score remained close until dug a vicious spike to the three meter line where took the set and pounded it to the floor for a 19-16 lead. Frosh ended the set with a kill to finalize a 25-18 victory.
The momentum really shifted in the third set.and fired missiles from the outside while and created a wall in the middle, resulting in an easy 25-14 win. Mattingly finished the set with two statement kills to end it 25-14.
Despite the change in momentum the Rockets managed to keep the score close early in set four. An Elizabeth Mitchel kill gave the Rockets the serve and a 6-5 lead.went back to serve and polished off 10 points through two timeouts to open up the lead to 16-5. also got into a zone where everything she touched turned into a point, banging balls to the floor or putting a roof over the opponents attempted kills. This started a 17-1 run that increased the score to 22-6. Carolyn Kaye finished the game off with a kill and a block to clinch the championship 25-10.
and tied for the team lead in kills with 10 each. Howard also added six blocks to her effort. It was the first state championship for Richard Montgomery. They reached the semi-finals in 1992. For Leonardtown, they had gotten into the finals in 2021 but lost to Arundel.
Too Much Doolin for the Wildcats
The Arundel Wildcats came into the tournament as the number one seed, undefeated for the year. Last year they had gotten to the finals of the Class 4 state championships before losing to Urbana. The player who impressed me the most was the 5’6″, who plays libero for her club team, but brought some hop to the left side, burying a number of balls to the floor. With and also helping on the pins and up the middle they carried some offense. Payton and shared setting duties.
The Hubs were last year’s class 3 state champions but had lost their big offensive threat Gabrielle Grantham, along with their 5/1 setter Aubrey Chamberlin, their two middles Kayla Turner and Armani Kenney and finally their libero Marley Knight. Despite those losses they still performed well, losing only to Urbana and Virginia Class 4 champion James Wood. Credit that to the incredible offensive performances ofand , as well as their new setter , who all made the Central Maryland Conference first team. Despite being the defending champions, they came into the tournament as the fourth seed.
Both teams exchanged leads in the first set, with the Hubs up 12-8 early and the Wildcats taking an 18-15 lead as the set progressed.had two big hits, one missile that was fired between two blockers to tie the game at 21-21. After a quick middle kill by made it 23-24, ended the game with a kill off the block to give the Hubs the two point victory.
Set two saw North Hagerstown in charge for much of the game. Aace tied the game at 20-20. ended the momentum with four kills at the end of the set, including the game winner to end it 25-21.
While set three completed the sweep Arundel did not go down without a fight. They jumped out to an early 4-0 lead courtesy of two aces by. The Hubs battled back after a tip kill by tied it at 13-13. A kill and a ace extended the lead to 15-13. They seemed to have the game iced after taking a 24-19 but a net and hitting error by each Doolan sister advanced the score to 23-24. With the game on the line did something a little unexpected. With the Wildcats anticipating a fourth set to a Doolan she changed it up by running a quick to , who did not disappoint, putting the ball down to complete the 25-23 win. It was the fifth state championship for North Hagerstown.
Godschall leads Centennial to Class 2 Championship
For club ballnormally wears a libero jersey. For the Eagles she is their top offensive performer. Despite her 5’7″ height she brings the athleticism to jump high over the net. She hits the ball well from the 3 meter line as well as the front row, especially rifling balls down the line. Another solid performer for the Eagles was their 6’2″ middle . She hit the middles down hard and also blocked well. Last year Centennial played in Class 3 but lost in the first round. They own 14 state championships but the last was in 2008.
Calvert made an appearance in the last two state championships but lost in the first round both years. Their last state championship was in 2003. Their liberoimpressed with her passing and defense.
Despite having sprained her ankle in their last matchwas on her game. An early backrow kill knotted the first set at 3-3 and tied it again at 4-4 with a quick middle hit to the floor. Setter Manroop Sidhu served two aces while going on a six point service run to give the Eagles a 10-4 advantage. They never trailed after that and a Godschall kill finished it at 25-20.
Centennial never trailed Calvert in set two. It ended with both teams missing six consecutive serves, the Eagles coming out on top 25-21. Maclellan finished the set with two blocks and four kills.
started set three with four early kills to give the Eagles a 5-1 lead. Natalie Gomez and contributed two kills each and the lead extended to 14-4. Calvert battled back to get the score within three 22-19 but a Maclellan kill progressed it to 24-19. Natalie Gomez ended it with a spike to the floor for a 25-19 finish to complete the sweep.
Clear Spring Goes Back to Back
I only witnessed the last two sets of the Clear Spring/Smithburg match. Clear Spring won in five, taking the last set 15-12. The two star performers of the match were the two left handed swinging right sides. For Clear Spring that was the 5’11” Addison Zeigler. For Smithburgwas the big gun. Chloe Fisher did a strong job setting a 5/1 for Smithburg, while terminated balls from the left side.
For Clear Springimpressed me with her libero play. Skylar Plante played a strong middle.
Chesapeake Chirps – With the championship win by Malinh Godschall that gave Metro 17 six girls to win state championships., , , and won for Flint Hill. led her team to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) title while also winning conference player of the year. For Maryland they do not have a state tournament for Independent schools. and played for Bishop O’Connell who lost to Flint Hill in the state championship as well as to Holy Cross in the WCAC finals. played for Jackson Reed, which lost in the finals of the DC championship. That is 10 of their 14 players who played in the finals of their championships.