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Perryville girls headed to state volleyball championship game

Perryville's Rebekah Hanshaw, left, and her teammate, Kylie Shiflett, celebrate beating McDonough in Tuesday's 1A state semi final at College Park. Perryville advances to the state final at 6 p.m. Friday against Smithburg.
Perryville's Rebekah Hanshaw, left, and her teammate, Kylie Shiflett, celebrate beating McDonough in Tuesday's 1A state semi final at College Park. Perryville advances to the state final at 6 p.m. Friday against Smithburg. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

COLLEGE PARK - For the third time in four years, the Perryville girls volleyball team will play for the Maryland Class 1A State Championship.

The Panthers (17-2) defeated McDonough (3-12) in straight sets of their semifinal Tuesday night in Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland in College Park. Scores were 25-13, 25-13 and 25-9.

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Perryville will meet a familiar foe in Friday's state final, battling Smithsburg at 6 p.m. Smithsburg beat Perryville in back-to-back state finals in 2011 and 2012.

"Tonight was an awesome night for our team and we came out right from the beginning," Panthers coach Matt Borrelli said. "They executed well from the beginning and I believe that set the tone for the way all three sets were going to be played."

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The Panthers got off to a fast start in Tuesday's win, using consistent serving and play, highlighted by seven kills. Gabby Goodnow (11 kills) led the way with three kills, but it was her block that pushed the Perryville lead to double digits, 18-8.

The Panthers increased the lead to 20-8, before McDonough's Lori Sturgill gave the Rams a little spark. Her only kill of the first set led to a three-point run, closing the gap to 20-11.

Perryville's Erin Murphy answered with a serving ace and a 23-11 lead. The team's traded the next four points to close the set.

Set two was much of the same, with Perryville dominating play, with minimal mistakes. McDonough grabbed an early lead, but that was erased behind the serving of Goodnow. The 5-11 sophomore served 10 straight points, turning the 6-4 deficit into a 15-7 lead.

Junior Rebekah Hanshaw had two kills in the set and Teri Wennersten had the only ace to push the Panthers lead to 22-12. The Panthers went from there, scoring three of the next four points.

The Panthers were most impressive in the final set, pulling away early and coasting to the win. Hanshaw had four kills in the set and finished with 10. Goodnow added two more kills, as did Wennersten. Back-to-back-to-back kills by Wennersten (1) and Hanshaw (2) opened the set and Kylie Shiflett, one of three seniors, served an ace and the Panthers cruised on to the win from there.

"We've all had each other's backs throughout the season and honestly we deserve this," Hanshaw said.

Panthers win 4th region title

Perryville traveled to Colonel Richardson last Friday night and the Panthers returned with a fourth consecutive regional girls volleyball championship.

Perryville beat Colonel Richardson in three straight sets, 25-11, 26-24 and 25-13.

Rebekah Hanshaw led Perryville with 21 service points, 10 aces, 15 digs and six kills.

Teri Wennersten had 11 service points and nine kills for the Panthers.

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Kaylan Smith had 18 digs and Rosie Porch had 27 assists for the winners.

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