It wasn’t vintage Hereford volleyball, but it was more than good enough for the Bulls to sweep Western Tech, 27-25, 25-13, 25-18, Friday at Hereford High School in the Class 2A North Region championship game.
The Bulls (14-4) advance to the state semifinals, where they’ll face Rising Sun, of Cecil County, Thursday at 8 p.m. at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum.
“For our kids to get back there again, I think is a great accomplishment,” said Hereford coach Dave Schreiner, whose team lost in the state semifinals last year to Patterson Mill in four games. “We lost four really good seniors from last year’s team that were starters. We lost Noelle Funk early this season to a knee injury. We had some bumps early in the season. We had to change some things.”
The performances of junior setter Cameron Bibaud (6 aces, 5 kills), sophomore outside hitter Erin Collins (5 kills) and junior outside hitter Liz Tilley (5 kills) helped Hereford get past Western Tech.
Western Tech received solid efforts from senior outside hitter Alliana Warner (10 kills), sophomore setter Colleen Boarman (18 assists) and senior outside hitter Cara Boarman (5 kills).
Western Tech (10-7) fell behind 4-1 in the first game before slowly working its way into the lead, 11-10, with Cara Boarman serving.
Later, Hereford rallied from a five-point deficit to win the game.
“We were playing tight in the first game,” Schreiner said. “I told the kids, ‘We playing not lose rather than to win.’ We were nervous and not being aggressive. We were kind of quiet. But we fought and hung in there. The first game was the key to the whole match. I thought the match could have been different if we hadn’t won that first game.”
Hereford was most impressive in the second game. The Bulls jumped out to a 5-1 lead behind the serving of Bibaud.
Western Tech rallied to make it 8-8, but Hereford closed with a 17-5 run.
“They wore us down with their consistency,” Western Tech coach Eric Jett said.“They weren’t willing to give us any points, particularly in the second and third game. They really made us earn our points.”
Hereford spotted Western Tech a 3-0 lead in game three, but quickly stormed back to tie it at 4-4. It was tied once more at 6-6.
But eventually the Bulls pulled away and used a 9-0 late run to secure the game.
Tilley finished it off by serving consecutive aces.