Dulaney senior outside hitter Darla Svoboda might have to continue working out in the weight room on game days after her sterling performance in the No. 4-ranked Lions’ 25-12, 25-16, 25-15 volleyball triumph over No. 13 host Hereford Monday.
Svoboda finished with a match-high 13 kills, including six in the first set when she also sported some nasty serves that led to five straight points after the match was tied at 3-3.
“I worked out at the gym and I kind of went too hard, so both my shoulders were kind of sore, but I was feeling good,” Svoboda said.
“She (Svoboda) wasn’t missing much. Everything was in,” Hereford coach Dave Schreiner said.
Hereford (1-1) rallied to within 10-7, but the Lions (2-0) responded with a kill by Sydney Cohee (6 kills) and a pair of kills from Svoboda, as the 5-foot-10 hitter took advantage of consistent setting from senior Alexis Howatt and her sophomore little sister, Mallory Svoboda.
Hereford’s inconsistent passing and failure to generate blocks hurt them in the first two sets, but they stayed close early in the second set thanks to a pair of well-placed tips by setter LeAnne Collins and outside hitter Kelly Cavey.
But, Dulaney southpaw Mallory Svoboda took over on the service line and fired off some sizzling serves that turned an 8-6 lead into a 14-6 advantage and they never looked back.
Svoboda had an ace to start the run and watched teammate C.C. Vkejianya notch consecutive blocks.
Cohee added a pair of kills during the stretch.
Her emergence was a pleasant surprise for Dulaney coach Cary Lyon, who was without 5-foot-11 junior hitter Milan Amos, who is out until October after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee in March.
Amos and Darla Svoboda were both All-County selections for the Lions, who won 17 straight matches and defeated Hereford in the Baltimore County championship last season.
But, a three-game loss to Sherwood in the regional finals left them out of the state tournament and with an eagerness to get back on the court.
“They were so psyched to begin the season,” said Lyon, in his 10th season at Dulaney.
“It motivated me to train a lot harder during the summer because this is my last year and I really want to finish strong and really want to get to states this year,” said the senior Svoboda, who ended the third set with an ace down the sideline.
Hereford only trailed 11-10, after a tip by Collins and block by Kaja Bibaud, but Dulaney pulled away behind the serving of Cohee.
“I told the kids I didn’t think we played that bad, but we made too many errors and you can’t play a team as good as they are and make all those errors,” Schreiner said. “Overall, I thought that the difference was serve receive and the blocking that they did and we didn’t.”