Despite the fact the game does not count for either team toward their respective playoff standings, it’s always a good early season litmus test when Severna Park and Archbishop Spalding match up in volleyball.
For the Cavaliers, it was also a test of their resiliency as they rallied from deficits in each set to defeat the Falcons, 26-24, 25-21 and 25-18.
“I really feel like we started off strong,” Archbishop Spalding’s Sarah Couch said. “We had our ups and downs but we kept our energy and didn’t get too down, even when we were down on the scoreboard. I feel like we really brought the team together and this game was a really good one to win. It’s a big to win against Severna Park, it's always really tough head to head. Sometimes we win, sometimes they win so it’s really nice to get a win for us today.”
The Falcons took the early lead in the first set before Spalding took a 9-8 lead with the score going back and forth until it leveled out at 20 apiece.
Severna Park (0-1) was a point away from capturing the opening set before Archbishop Spalding coach Scott Rombach took a timeout that proved to be pivotal, as the Cavaliers rallied to score the final four points of the set to win it, 26-24.
“We have played two games already and a lot of what we are talking about is that we want them to be a team. We want them to be cohesive,” Rombach said. “We don’t want them to be six islands out there. We want them to help each other. I think we did a great job today of passing and playing scrappy defense. There are lot of little things that we have been working on and I think it really came together today.”
The second set mimicked the first as the Falcons jumped out early, only to see the Cavaliers get their first lead of the set at 9-8 before the teams were tied at 20 again.
From there, Jacey Lewis took over as she rotated between soft, well-placed drop shots and powerful kills that overwhelmed the Falcons. Lewis finished with 13 kills, several of which helped the Cavaliers take the second set.
“When I am going up to hit, being able to see over the block is really key,” Lewis said. “ It helps me know whether to tip it right over, tip it in the middle and I have my team looking out for me and telling me places to go.”
The final point of the set epitomized the frustration the Cavaliers were causing the Falcons as what look to be a sure point for Severna Park was dug out by a diving Caitlin Iley, with Couch scrambling to get to the ball and set Lewis up for the powerful finish. Couch finished with 14 assists, while Iley had 14 digs and Megan Mobley had 15 digs.
“We had a lot of effort and everybody had energy and we played together as a team,” Iley said. “It was kind of a confidence booster because we thought they were better than us going in and we came out on top.”
In the third and final set, the Cavaliers (3-0) again had to rally and took the lead for good when they went up 9-8, finishing off the Falcons who could not overcome their own mistakes, particularly a total of 17 missed serves.
“They didn't make mistakes,” Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar said. “They didn’t knock the ball out of bounds, they didn’t miss serves, they didn’t take the third ball and whack it into the net, they didn’t do that kind of stuff. We had to work for all our points and then we gave them a whole lot of points. This is why you play good teams. You play teams that are going to play good against you and you hope you can overcome those things. We just made so many mistakes. It’s hard to overcome that, especially against a team who is not making mistakes and giving it back to you.”
Ally Winship had 11 kills and five digs for the Falcons, while Emily Krasic had 15 digs and Maeve Register had 10 digs.