With Calvert Hall clinging to a 14-13 lead in the fifth set against host Gilman, Cardinals senior setter Will Lansinger knew he wanted to go to senior outside hitter Andrew Keenan for the final point.
Keenan hit the ball off the net down the line and two Gilman players tried to keep it alive, but it fell on the court and the Cardinals won the match.
They took it 18-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-14, 15-13, after trailing two sets to one.
Calvert Hall improved to a league-leading 9-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, while Gilman dropped to second (10-2).
“Keenan is a great player,” Lansinger said. “He just wanted to put that ball down so hard.”
Keenan was one of three Cardinals with seven kills, along with Nate Bosse and John Boddiford.
“He (Keenan) can jump through the roof, it's crazy,” Lansinger said. “He makes my job easier.”
Andrew Harrell (match-high 12 kills) and Mike Healy (8 kills) also made life easier on attack, and libero Andrew Fanshaw set the offense in motion with some clutch digs.
“He was incredible,” Calvert Hall coach Anthony Cammarata said of Fanshaw. “He had one heckuva game,”
The final set had its dramatic twists and nervous turns from both squads.
Gilman built a 6-3 lead in the final set behind the serving of setter Tyler Wakefield (9 kills, 4 solo blocks, 2 assisted blocks), but Calvert Hall rallied to tie at 7-7.
The teams traded points before Calvert Hall went on a six-point run with Colby Roloff on the service line.
The run started with a solo block by Lansinger (3 blocks, 2 assisted blocks) and a double block from Nate Bosse and Keenan for a 10-8 lead.
“All year, I’ve been trying to get those blocks and I finally picked them up this game,” Lansinger said. “Those were big. I think they helped our momentum a lot.”
Keenan answered a Gilman time out with a kill, after Fanshaw made a diving dig save on a hard-driven ball by Will Richardson (5 kills).
Back-to-back errors and a solo block from Bosse pushed the lead to 14-8 with the Hall on the brink of closing it out.
But, the feisty Greyhounds responded in front of the supportive home crowd.
Jack Harris took over serving duties and promptly landed five straight serves in the court.
Torben Ginsberg had a kill and Harris added an ace during the run, that also included three balls that were hit out of play by the Cardinals.
That set up Keenan for the game-winning spike and he was thinking of only one thing.
“Just get it in,” he said.