The battle for Harford County boys volleyball supremacy unfolded at Patterson Mill High School Wednesday where the once-beaten Huskies hosted the Bel Air Bobcats for the regular season county title.
The Bobcats (13-2), who dealt the Huskies (12-2) the one loss, gave them their second with a 3-1 win.
Set scores were 25-17, 16-25, 25-15 and 25-15.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Bobcats coach Larry Tsomos said. “These boys have not been exposed to the real game, in regards to speed, strength, fast, hard hits. They have not been exposed to that.”
It was apparent from the start illustrated by Bobcat Chris Couch and his power. Two kills by the sophomore hitter to open set one led to a strong night for Crouch and his teammates.
The Bobcats built leads of 8-5 and 11-8 in set one, before a few Sam Johnson serves pushed the lead to 15-10. A Jonathan Drumm block made it 21-15 and Jalen Johnson served the Bobcats to set point.
The Huskies rebounded to win set two. Serves from Sam Lever and Cole Burkhardt and kill from Will Pape had the Huskies out to an 8-2 lead. Bel Air called timeout.
More good serving with an ace each from Lucas Cooper and Pape pushed the lead to 10, 17-7 and Bel Air called another timeout.
Adam Lingelbach served another ace and with Cooper putting down an emphatic kill, the Huskies pulled away to win the set.
“We’re playing in the first set and there’s a level of effort beyond basic volleyball that we have to put in,” Bel Air senior Jacob Barsam said. “That’s falling on the ground and sacrificing our bodies for the ball and getting it up and sending it over and we lost some of that in the second set.”
Bel Air, though, responded. A 4-0 run to open set three and things were looking good, but a number of bad hits and decisions allowed the Huskies to pull even at 6 all.
A pair of Crouch kills got the Bobcats back on track with a 14-8 lead. The lead grew to 16-9 and the Huskies needed a timeout.
A double-hit coming out of the break made it 17-9. Pape’s two kills gave Patterson Mill a breath, but Jalen Johnson’s dig and hit for a kill made it 20-12. The Bobcats scored five of the next eight points to win the set.
The fourth and final set was tied 6-6 as well, but a five-point run gave the Bobcats a 12-9 lead. At 14-11, Patterson Mill coach Rich Moyer called his last timeout.
From there, three Crouch kills, a kill each from Kajus Derby and Sam Johnson led to a 11-4 match ending run for the Bobcats.
Couch finished with 16 kills, two aces and an assist, while Sam Johnson had one ace, 11 kills and one block. Jonathan Drumm (four aces, two kills, five blocks, 34 assists); Ian Irizarry (one ace, five kills, five blocks); Derby (four kills, one block); and Caden Ernest (one ace, one block, one assist) contributed to the Bobcats win.
“This is the way, I want memories to be … I can live with this,” Moyer said. “We forced them to play the best that they can play and there were times that they were down and we took advantage of that. I could not be more proud of how hard they worked for this.”
Cole Burkhardt (11 kills, three blocks, two aces, eight digs); Pape (six kills, four blocks, three aces, 12 assists); and Cooper (four kills, four blocks, five aces, two digs) led Patterson Mill.
Harford Tech 3, C. Milton Wright 1
The visiting Cobras (7-6) defeated the Mustangs (6-6) in Harford County League play.
Set scores were 25-19, 21-25, 25-15 and 25-22.
Colin Blanton (two aces, six digs); Ian Doherty (two aces, four kills); Cooper Hichkad (two aces, three blocks, three kills); Mark Duffalo (two aces, 17 assists); Brendan MacGillivray (five kills); Kevin Kilchenstein (four kills, one dig); Christian Kregel (two kills); and Zach Brown (two digs) led CMW.
Mt. St. Joe 3, John Carroll 0
The Patriots (10-5) were swept by the host Gaels (12-3) in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.
Set scores were 18-25, 8-25 and 18-25.
Harford Tech 5, Havre de Grace 0
The Cobras (9-2) traveled to and blanked the Warriors (1-10) in Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division play.
Emma Huddler led scoring with two goals, while Heather Reider, Natalie Gardini and Elizabeth Hunter added a goal each. Kendal Nehila had two assists, while Madison Crusse, Isabella Farace, Lillie Uttereither and Page Stanley had one each.
C. Milton Wright 1, Patterson Mill 1 2OT
The Mustangs (7-3-1) and visiting Huskies (10-0-2) couldn’t decide a winner in UCBAC Chesapeake Division play.
Vinnie Wysong tallied the Huskies goal. Goalie Ian Sauer had 10 saves.
Bel Air 1, Fallston 0
The Bobcats (6-2) blanked the visiting Cougars (9-4) in UCBAC Chesapeake Division play.
Drew Schmidt scored with assist from Matt Weidman.
Bobcats goalie Matt Cosby had one save and Cougars goalie Cason Donahue had six saves.
Rising Sun 4, North Harford 3
The Hawks (7-7) were edged by the host Tigers in UCBAC Chesapeake Division play.
Havre de Grace 2, Perryville 1
The Warriors (8-1) edge the visiting and rival Panthers (5-6) in UCBAC Susquehanna Division play.
Lev Logan and Blake Clark with a goal apiece. Freshman goalie Cameron Grant had seven saves in place of senior Keegan Gruzs, who is injured.
Harford Tech 5, Elkton 0
The Cobras (7-6) blanked the visiting Elks in UCBAC Chesapeake Division play.
Mercy 3, John Carroll 2 OT
The Patriots (6-3-1) dropped the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game at the Magic.
The winning goal was scored with the Patriots playing a man down.
Sydney Queen and Macy Vail scored goals.