South River forced to work for win against Severna Park

Samanta Tarabella has been a key player for the South River volleyball team all year.

When needed to step into an even larger role on Tuesday, she had no problem.

With one of the Seahawks’ leading hitters, Erin Canter, out with an injury, Tarabella played the lead role on Tuesday with 13 kills and 14 digs in a sweep of Severna Park, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20.

“We definitely had to make some big changes. She (Canter) is one of our stronger hitters on the team,” Tarabella said. “We’re adjusting and it’s working out well. We have a good team on our hands.”

It wasn’t just the overall numbers, but what was just as important is when Tarabella produced some of her bigger hits. She had kills that set up set points in each of the three sets, then had a kill off a block to clinch the match. In between, she came up big when needed in a match that very easily could have gone the other way.

“Samanta was hitting hard tonight,” South River coach Maureen Carter said. “So were my two outside hitters, and I think my middles played well. They made us work for the win.”

Savannah Doctor added nine kills and 14 digs and went 7 for 8 serving, while Jess Adams had five kills and went 10 for 10 serving with a pair of aces for South River, which will face unbeaten Arundel on Thursday in a rematch of last year’s county championship game and Class 4A East Region final.

“Let’s hope we come out strong again on Thursday and give Arundel a good game,” Carter said.

Emily Speciale had 25 assists and went 13 for 13 serving with an ace and Caitlyn Houck went 12 for 12 serving with an ace for South River (8-1).

“We’ve been working hard to prepare for Arundel, and it’s going to be a good match,” Tarabella said. “It’s just exciting because we’re all friends. It’s going to be fun.”

Severna Park (3-6) was in position to win each set. The first set was tied at 20, the second set was tied 12 times and the Falcons had a two-point lead late, while the third set was also tight throughout.

“I think we played alright,” Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar said. “It’s a dropped ball here, a mis-hit there, a missed serve, a call that goes against you. In a 25-22 game, you’re talking about three plays. It was really that close.”

Chloe Campbell led the Falcons in kills with eight, followed by Ally Winship with five and Georgia Marriner with four. Kelli Kazmarek had 24 assists, Maeve Register had 12 digs and Madi Mason added four blocks for the Falcons.

“We’re getting better. We’re just still a little inconsistent,” Dunbar said. “We don’t play consistently throughout a whole match. We’ll have really good performances from some players at some times, but it’s just a matter of getting them all in sync at the same time.”

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