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Four Harford County teams advance to girls volleyball region finals

C. Milton Wright's Libby Gross, left, and Maddie Duffalo, right, and their teamates celebrate their win over Aberdeen in the girls volleyball 3A North Region II semifinal Monday.
C. Milton Wright's Libby Gross, left, and Maddie Duffalo, right, and their teamates celebrate their win over Aberdeen in the girls volleyball 3A North Region II semifinal Monday. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

In region semifinal contests Monday, Harford County girls volleyball teams from C. Milton Wright, Fallston, Bel Air and Patterson Mill earned victories to advance onto Wednesday’s region championship matches.

At Aberdeen, visiting C. Milton Wright held off a resilient Eagles team for a 3-1 win in 3A North Region II play. Set scores were 25-15, 23-25, 25-12 and 25-19.

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“Aberdeen has definitely improved since they were two years ago, they definitely deserved to be where they were,” Mustangs coach David Naugle said. “But, we’re on a roll. A few games before the end of the season, we lost a couple games where we played really well and we won two games after that. I told them, we’re on a roll, if we catch lightning in a bottle, who knows what can happen.”

The Mustangs (6-8) opened the first set with a strike, jumping to an 8-2 lead. Aberdeen (11-4) closed the gap to 9-6, but strong serves from freshman Ana Mioduski pushed the Mustangs lead to 17-6. Aberdeen called timeout, but out of it the Eagles could not make up much ground.

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Aberdeen scored nine of the next 17 points, but the eight awarded to the Mustangs were enough to end the set.

The second set also had CMW out to an early lead (5-2) and resulted in another Aberdeen timeout.

The Eagles, riding a Gianna Braxton (three aces, three kills, seven blocks) block, pulled even at 10-10. The Eagles slid ahead, 12-10, prompting Naugle to use a timeout.

Savanna Murdock (six aces, two kills) served two straight aces to increase the Eagles’ lead to 17-12.

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CMW charged back, though, and with a 9-4 run had the set tied at 21. Aberdeen won the next three points to lead, 24-21, but the Mustangs came back. At 24-23, Mustang Jayda Patterson (eight kills, three aces, three digs) attempted a set-tying kill, but Braxton answered with a block to give Aberdeen a win.

“C. Milton Wright’s talented. They’re a talented team and a great group of girls, we knew this coming in,” Aberdeen coach Jimmia McCluskey said. “We knew that they had hitters and if we weren’t down low, trying to get those hitters, we were going to be in trouble. But we did a lot better than I thought. We lacked communication some moments, which didn’t help our situation, but overall, I’m very proud of them.”

Set three was all CMW. Libby Gross (26 assists, one kill, three aces) served the Mustangs to a 9-0 lead and the Eagles never threatened. It was 15-7 when Maddie Duffalo (four kills, eight aces) served six more points for a 21-7 advantage.

A Jocelyn Kruger (six aces, three kills, three blocks, one dig) kill for Aberdeen halted the CMW run and it ignited a brief run for the Eagles, before the Mustangs closed out the set.

Trying to stay alive for a fifth set, Aberdeen led 6-1 in set four behind Murdock serving.

The set was eventually tied 12-12, but another Braxton block led to a 15-12 Aberdeen advantage.

The set was tied again at 18-18 and then 19-19 before Mioduski (14 kills, six aces, three digs) took over.

Her kill gave CMW a 20-19 lead and a her second kill, wrapped around a Duffalo ace, made it 22-19.

“In my head I was just thinking, I know we were down in the second set and we lost that one and I just think to myself, we’ve got to keep our heads up,” Mioduski said. “[We] have to keep out that negative mindset and have to make sure that we’re staying positive, so we could win.”

Aberdeen failed to return Duffalo’s serves for the next three points, ending the match.

Bel Air 3, Edgewood 0

The Bobcats (14-0) picked up where they left off in the regular season with a sweep of the visiting Rams (7-9) in 3A North Region II play. Set scores were 25-6, 25-15 and 25-16.

The Bobcats had 21 aces and 28 kills. Mackenzie Springer (five aces, nine kills); Lexi Couch (three aces, seven kills); Autumn Grimsley (five aces); Megan Cassaday (four aces, two kills); Anaiah Lewis (five kills); and Kayden Hardenbrook (three kills) led the Bobcats.

Bel Air will host C. Milton Wright on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for the 3A North Region II title.

Fallston 3, North Harford 0

The Cougars (7-7) swept the host Hawks (11-4) in 2A East Region I play. Set scores were 25-17, 25-13 and 25-16.

Strong serving led the Cougars, who had 19 aces as a team — led by Grace Pfaff with five. Sam Conrad, Kyra Douglass and Abby Ruth had four aces apiece.

The Cougars also had 26 kills, led by Douglass (9) and Ellery Thompson (5). Pfaff, Allie Book and Conrad combined for 43 assists. Amanda Sharpe had nine blocks and Abby Ruth added 19 digs.

The Cougars will visit Rising Sun at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the 2A East Region I title.

Patterson Mill 3, Perryville 2

The Huskies (6-5) beat the visiting Panthers (2-9) in 1A East Region I play. Set scores were 25-21, 13-25, 25-15, 23-25 and 15-7.

Abby McDowell led the winners with 38 assists, 10 digs and five aces. Libero Ava Shores kept rallies alive with 34 digs, while Grace Bonhoff led the Huskies offense with 17 kills and three aces. Josie Otremba contributed 11 kills and three aces

Gillian Carr (32 digs, five aces); Paige Kilduff (17 digs, 11 assists, seven kills); Kaiva Hicks (14 digs, seven assists, five kills); Ava McBride (five blocks, four kills); and Emily Burchett (nine digs) led the Panthers.

Patterson Mill will play at Bo Manor on Wednesday at 5 p.m. for the 1A East Region I title.

REGION QUARTERFINALS

C. Milton Wright 3, Towson 0

The Mustangs traveled to defeat the Generals in 3A North Region II first round play. Set scores were 25-18, 25-13 and 25-23. The Mustangs never trailed in either set.

Mioduski (nine kills, one ace, seven digs); Gross (18 assists, four digs, five aces); Patterson (seven kills, one ace, eight digs, one block); Ciara Green (three kills, one block); Duffalo (two kills, three aces, one dig); Lauren Childress (10 digs, one ace); and Tayler Quinn (two aces, five digs) led the Mustangs.

Fallston 3, North East 0

The Cougars made the trip to beat the Indians in the 2A East Region I opener. Set scores were 25-8, 25-15 and 25-14.

After a quick win in set one, North East slid ahead 12-10 in set two, but Fallston roared back with nine straight unanswered serves (five aces) by Book to win the set. The Cougars never trailed in the final set.

Pfaff and Book combined for 25 assists, while Thompson led the team with five kills. Sharpe, Renae Gent, and Lyndsey Kregel shut down the opposing offense with seven blocks, while Abby Ruth’s defense kept the ball from hitting the floor.

Edgewood 3, Patapsco 0

The Rams were winners over the host Patriots in 3A North Region II opening round play. Set scores were 25-16, 25-13 and 25-11.

McKenzie Badham (14 assists, one kill); Gabby Gaines (seven digs, 18 service points, three aces); Harmony Madu (three kills, two assists); Sylvia Marin (five kills, six digs, three aces); Kayla Martin (20 digs); Emily Osborne (seven kills, 13 digs, three aces); and Alanna Whyte (seven kills, three aces) led the Rams.

Havre de Grace 3, Joppatowne 0

The host Warriors opened 1A East Region I play with the sweep over the Mariners.

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