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Roland Park volleyball defeats Chapelgate for B Conference championship

The Chapelgate volleyball team, shown here during a win over Glenelg Country earlier this season, lost to Roland Park in the IAAM B Conference final on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The Chapelgate volleyball team, shown here during a win over Glenelg Country earlier this season, lost to Roland Park in the IAAM B Conference final on Saturday, Nov. 1. (File photo by Kirk Frankfurth)

BALTIMORE, MD — After knocking off Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 3-1, in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference semifinals on Thursday, the Chapelgate Christian volleyball team was building confidence.

The Yellowjackets' win over Mount Carmel avenged a five-set loss from earlier this month, and they also owned a win over Roland Park Country School, the team they faced in Saturday's B Conference championship match.

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However, the Reds team that Chapelgate defeated on Oct. 8 was not the same one they saw on Saturday at Roland Park.

"We knew that we had the opportunity to beat them and it might have gotten into our heads a little bit. We went into this game thinking that we could beat them because we had beaten them before," said Chapelgate senior Julia del Carmen, after her team's 25-17, 25-17, 25-14 loss. "I think they just had an off game when they played us" the first time.

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Julia del Carmen (7 kills) and her younger sister, sophomore Rachel del Carmen (8 kills, ace), combined to lead the Yellowjackets' offense.

But Roland Park's duo of senior Olivia Stevens (11 kills, 7 aces) and junior Bailey Andrews (16 kills) was too much for Chapelgate (7-2 conference, 13-4 overall).

"They were the only team to beat us this season, so we came out ready to beat them. We were just ready to dominate," said Stevens, whose team also won the B Conference last year.

Stevens added that defeating 2013 A Conference champion St. Paul's on Oct. 18 in five sets bolstered her team's confidence.

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"After beating them we felt like we could beat anybody, we felt on top of the world," she said. "Our fans are awesome and they definitely helped."

The Yellowjackets played in the A Conference from 2001 until 2013, dropping down to the B Conference this fall.

"Part of our struggle was that Chapelgate hasn't been (to the conference finals) in like 20 years," coach Jess Weakley said. "I think we were a little overwhelmed by the whole experience. They wanted it really bad so they were tense in a couple places. But overall they played with a lot of heart. They really did believe in themselves up until probably the middle of that third set."

Roland Park (8-1, 16-2) won the C Conference title in 2003.

"The girls wanted to come out and prove that the way they played (Chapelgate) the first time wasn't us," Reds assistant coach Dani Steinbach said. "They took it to us earlier in the season and we expected that out of them again today."

Chapelgate led only once in the match, 1-0 in the second set, but battled to tie it several times.

"I wanted them to just be present and have fun and experience the fact that not everybody gets to stand on the court in the finals," Weakley said. "I know that they're hurting but hopefully they're going to wake up tomorrow and feel like the great team that they are."

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