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Baltimore County Sports

Eastern Tech volleyball rallies from two sets down to stun Catonsville, 3-2

Senior night started out as a celebration for the seven Catonsville seniors who were honored before the game and the six who started helped the Comets dominate the first two sets against Eastern Tech.

But, the defensive-minded Mavericks rallied in the final three sets for a 10-25, 13-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-9 victory, improving to 12-3.

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Eastern Tech coach Sandy Huber had some choice words she didn’t want to repeat for her team after the second set, but she did say, “I was so mad at them.”

Eastern Tech's Kaylee DeMasse sets up the ball against Catonsville during Wednesday's match.

Catonsville coach Amanda Kaufman credited Eastern Tech’s turnaround to its defense.

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“They were playing great defense,” Kaufman said. “Their libero was making some great digs over there and they were hustling, they weren’t letting balls hit the floor and they were just making plays and we just couldn’t convert,”

But that didn’t happen until after the Comets (5-10) won the first two sets handily on the strength of serving and balanced offense.

Catonsville's Maya Bowman, left, sends the ball over the net against Eastern Tech's Julianna Beltran during Wednesday's match.

Seniors Lindsey Lutton (three aces), Sam Rickwalder, Leah Vacin, Thi Li (two aces each) and Macy Hager (one ace) set the tone from the service line with hard floating serves.

“They served great the first couple sets and then we just couldn’t get in a rhythm and then we were playing from behind, so you add extra pressure,” Kaufman said.

Nine different Comets led the way offensively in the first two sets as they combined for 21 kills, but they only got 16 kills the rest of the way.

Lutton had a match-high 13 kills and senior Maya Bowman and junior Abby Tartal added six kills each.

The third set went to the wire with Catonsville on the verge of closing out the match, but Eastern Tech scored the final two points on Comet errors.

Shawna Dyer (eight kills), Malorie Gogel (four kills), DeMasse (three kills) and Julianna Fontanilla (three kills) led the Maverick offense. The defense of libero Kaylee DeMasse was clutch throughout the final three sets.

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“She is all or nothing,” Huber said.

In the fourth set, the Mavericks just kept the ball in play, which was just what Huber ordered.

Eastern Tech’s Nicole Fontanilla waits to receive the ball during Wednesday's match against Catonsville.

“Our main thing has been making smart plays, so if the set is off or they are not in the right position, don’t just stand there and kind of hit it, make a smart play, do a free ball, reset, get back together and we can go from there,” she said. “I’d rather have a free ball 10 times than have one kill, because that gives them the opportunity to play defense.”

Catonsville rallied from three points down to tie the score at 21, but Eastern Tech scored the final four points with Gogel getting a clutch ace in the stretch.

The final set was tied at 8 before the Mavericks reeled off seven of the final eight points. Gogel served on six of the points and added another ace.

Despite the loss, Catonsville’s Kaufman praised the six senior players, who were honored before the game along with senior manager Colleen Simpkins.

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“From the beginning of the season until the end of the season, they’ve had so much growth and it’s really nice to be able to see that come out in game play,” Kaufman said. “It’s just nice to see them grow and just their genuine love for the sport of volleyball.”


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