Catonsville had 18 service aces, including three each from Brooke Nelson, Maddi McLean and Lyssie Mitchell, and seven kills from Sylvia Mitchell and three from Sophi Wrisk in a 25-12, 25-13, 25-14 win over visiting Lansdowne (0-2) in volleyball action on Friday evening.

“I think our serving was amazing tonight,” Catonsville coach Tonya Feaster said. “Brooke Nelson did a great job of jump serving out there and Sophi did a great job, she always does.”

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McLean served out the first set with a pair of aces.

Junior setter Maddi Sampson was solid in the first and third sets and sophomore reserve setter Caroline Prince was strong in the second set.

Catonsville (2-1) scored the first four points of the second set with a kill on an overpass and ace from Prince being key plays.

They stretched a 7-2 lead to 13-2 behind wicked jump-serving from Nelson, who started the run with a pair of aces.

A kill from Wrisk, tip for a kill by Prince and kill from McLean continued the onslaught.

An ace from Lansdowne’s Brenda Romero helped the Vikings inch toward double-digits, but when they reached that mark they trailed 17-10.

Coach Sarah Curran was short-handed, playing without leading hitter Madison Williams.

“Our best hitter is on crutches,” said Curran, noting she injured her ankle in practice two days before the season-opening three-set loss to Dulaney. “She is on crutches until next week.”

The Vikings only had seven players available.

“We definitely didn’t get the numbers we usually have, so that is the one problem and she (Williams) is a powerhouse for us, so we had to train a girl to play her position within like a day,” Curran said. “We are still trying to pick up where we are missing.”

Junior setter Indira Santos didn’t get many chances to run the offense, but senior libero Kayla Nickel, a first-time varsity player for the Vikings, showed some hustle keeping balls alive.

Curran said her team’s communication was better against Dulaney then it was against the Comets.

“They just weren’t there today. In the huddle I talked about, I knew it was a Friday and it’s a full moon and it’s Friday the 13th and whatever and we didn’t have school yesterday because of the heat, so we didn’t practice,” Curran said. “I don’t know if anything would have been different if we had practiced yesterday, I just know that you could tell, based off the demeanor of my girls, they were very defeated from the beginning.”

Lansdowne took a 1-0 lead in the final set, but Sampson’s assist to Nelson gave the Comets a 2-1 lead and they never trailed again.

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Sampson also dove to the floor for a dig that led to a point during a 5-0 run later in the set that pushed the lead to 19-9.

Despite the convincing victory, Catonsville coach Feaster didn’t let her Comets take the Vikings lightly.

“We always expect that they are going to get the ball up and I always tell the girls, be ready for those free balls and be ready for the balls that come over on one or two,” Feaster said. “They are going to be sending it back over on our side, so we really have to work on forcing errors on their end by having solid hand contact and putting balls down in open spaces on the court.”

Unlike in the Comets’ loss to Century, the Comets took advantage of free balls with solid passing and that make senior Johnson a happy hitter.

“We really try to work on our consistency, so we struggle a little bit with our passing, that’s probably our weakest point, but when we get our passes up to our setter we usually can get those kills,” Johnson said. “When I’m front row and I get a passer behind me getting those passes up, our setter can get me a good set and that’s when we get our points, so we work on getting those passes up.”

Feaster echoed those sentiments.

“Overall, passing is something that we work on every day during practice and we are kind of getting into the habit of setting up our offense with a good pass and we want to make solid kills and solid plays every single time,” she said. “That’s been our biggest thing is being able to run our offense every single time the ball gets over on our side, especially when we are receiving free balls from the other team.”

In addition to three juniors up from JV, the Comets also have three sophomores and a freshman on the roster, but Johnson is one of five seniors, along with Wrisk, McLean, Nelson and Don’ya Truesdale, who wants to end her career on a positive note.

“We just really, really want to win,” Johnson said. “Our seniors have been getting better every single year and I know the five of us have the drive to win and we just need to get everyone on board with that, because I know we have the skill and we have the potential to get those wins and as long as we get the energy and the fire in us we can do it.”

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