On the way to a fifth straight sweep to open the season on Wednesday against Centennial, Howard coach Allison Ose saw something that was particularly encouraging.
Her Lions are developing a killer instinct.
Howard built big leads in both the first and second sets against the Eagles and never slowed down, winning the first game 25-9 and the second 25-15. Compared to its match last week against Marriotts Ridge, in which the Mustangs stormed back in the second set to get within three points before the Lions held on to close things out, Howard left little doubt this time around.
“That’s definitely something we have been talking a lot about this season. ... Even if we are up, the message is always let’s be aggressive and let’s take advantage where we can to push the points and win,” Ose said. “And it’s definitely getting better every game. I can see that Howard pride coming out.”
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Balance was the name of the game for Howard (5-0), as it has been all year. Senior libero Kathy Taveras paced the defense with 15 digs and a pair of assists, while Corinne Chau and Jordan Redmiles led the offense with five kills apiece. Overall, six different Lions had at least one kill in the match.
“I know that my job as a leader is to get everyone’s energy up and making sure that they have confidence behind every swing,” Taveras said. “We have some great hitters, so it’s really just a matter then of making sure that we are utilizing them and I thought we did a great job with that today.”
Howard set the tone right away, scoring the first three points on the way to never trailing in the opening set. At one point, the Lions rattled off 11 straight points to turn an 11-6 lead into a commanding 22-6 advantage.
“We were aggressive and swinging away right from the start, and I think a lot of that has to do with our passing being spot on,” Ose said. “Having Kathy, Kylie [O’Connor] and Bri [May] in the back row has allowed us to continually get the ball in play to run our offense.”
Centennial (3-2) did regroup to start the second set, however. After not leading at all in the first game, the Eagles held leads of 4-3 and 6-5 in the early stages of the second. Mailinh Godschall (six kills) and Brianna Bossom (two kills and one ace) were among those who helped temporarily steady the ship.
“Howard did some things today that forced us out of our comfort zone, but we rallied back and played well at times,” Centennial coach Mike Bossom said. “Unfortunately, overall, there were a few more downs than ups. So now it’s just a matter of seeing how we come back from this. Today was so much better than Monday, though, and I’m pleased with their attitude of being able to leave any errors in the past. Even from game-to-game today, they truly played like it was 0-0.”
Just as quickly as Centennial seemed to be gaining momentum, however, the Lions grabbed it right back. With Ayanna Pharoah (one ace and seven assists) serving, Howard rolled off nine straight points to take a 14-6 lead and never looked back the rest of the way.
As one of two undefeated teams left, joining Reservoir, Howard turns its focus now to the crossover portion of the schedule ahead of the county tournament at season’s end.
“I think being 5-0 we need to humble ourselves now because we know there is a target on our back. The teams don’t get easier from here, so it’s up to us to keep pushing,” Taveras said. “I think the big thing is still keeping that game-by-game mentality even though we might have that potential to possibly get the county [championship] at the end.”
Reservoir def. Hammond — 2-0 [25-10, 25-11]
The Gators stayed undefeated with their fifth straight sweep, this time defeating the visiting Golden Bears (1-4). Kelsey Holmes paced Reservoir (5-0) with 10 kills, while Jessica Rothermel tallied 15 assists.
Reservoir stats: Kelsey Holmes (10 kills, 2 aces), Kayla Browne (6 kills, 2 blocks), Jessica Rothermel (2 aces, 15 assists, 4 digs), Anjola Omolewa (3 kills, 2 digs, 1 block).
Hammond stats: Abbie Weirich (1 ace, 4 digs), Jenna Kreh (1 kill, 3 assists, 7 digs).
Glenelg def. Marriotts Ridge — 2-1 [10-25, 25-19, 15-7]
The Gladiators won their second straight game after dropping two straight to open the season and did it by overcoming a loss in the first set against Marriotts Ridge (2-2) on the road. Alyssa Kelly, playing in her first game back from injury, led Glenelg (2-2) with 16 digs, while Gracen Alsheimer and Mackenzie Calhoun combined for 12 kills. Gladiators coach Jason Monjes said changing things up and moving Calhoun, a freshman, outside to go along with some “lights out” play from freshman setter Lindsay Kelley has made a big impact.
Glenelg stats: Alyssa Kelly (16 digs, 1 assist), Gracen Alsheimer (7 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs), Lindsay Kelley (2 aces, 15 assists, 3 digs), Mackenzie Calhoun (2 aces, 5 kills, 10 digs).
Marriotts Ridge stats: Rhisen Davis (6 kills, 8 digs), Julia Mamo (1 ace, 10 digs), Brenna O’Reilly (3 aces, 4 digs, 11 assists), Madison Wray (6 assists).
Atholton def. Long Reach — 2-0 [25-14, 25-14]
The Raiders won both sets by scores of 25-14 for the Senior Night victory over Long Reach (2-3). Tiara Kidd smashed five kills, while Kyndall Mason and Kelly He tallied four aces apiece for Atholton (3-2).
Atholton stats: Kyndall Mason (2 kills, 4 aces, 6 digs), Kelly He (1 kill, 4 aces, 8 assists, 3 digs), Tiara Kidd (5 kills, 1 block), Kelsey Miller (2 kills, 3 aces, 6 assists, 4 digs), Ingrid Chang (8 digs).
Long Reach stats: Indyia Haskett (2 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs), Hayley Norton (1 ace, 3 assists, 1 dig), Mia Rubio (2 aces, 4 digs), Kailey Young (2 aces, 3 digs)
Mt. Hebron def. Oakland Mills — 2-0 [25-16, 25-17]
The Vikings won their first game of the season with a sweep over the Scorpions. Mt. Hebron improved to 1-2 with the victory on its own Senior Night. Morgan Amos paced the Vikings with five kills and four aces. Iyanna McDuffie led Oakland Mills (0-5) with five digs, three aces and a kill.
Mt. Hebron stats: Morgan Amos (5 kills, 4 aces, 4 digs), Lauren Taylor (6 digs, 1 kill, 1 assist), Anwesha Gorantla (3 kills, 4 digs), Brenna Siperko (5 kills), Sydney Jones (2 kills), Caroline Zheng (4 digs, 2 aces, 1 kill), Emerson Rose (4 assists).
Oakland Mills stats: Kathryn Rogan (1 ace, 10 digs), Katie Baron (4 digs), Iyanna McDuffie (3 aces, 1 kill, 5 digs, 3 assists), Molly Shanklin (1 ace, 1 dig, 2 assists), Lauren Harwood (1 kill, 1 dig), Paige McPhillips (2 aces, 1 kill), Shanai’ Smith (7 digs).
River Hill def. Wilde Lake — 2-0 [25-6, 25-4]
The Hawks lost only 10 points in its dominant home win over Wilde Lake (0-5) on Senior Night. The win is the fourth straight for River Hill (4-1). Seniors Sydney Shin and Emily Yang led the Hawks with 11 assists and four aces, respectively.
River Hill stats: Sydney Shin (11 assists, 2 aces, 5 digs), Emily Yang (4 aces, 3 digs), Shreeni Chikyala (5 kills, 4 aces), Merina Billey (4 kills), Grace Leska (4 kills, 3 digs).
Caitlyn Baehr scored the game’s only goal to lead the Gladiators to the tough win. Goalies Hala Silverstein and Rachel Barker combined to pitch a shutout for Glenelg (3-1). The win was Glenelg’s third straight, while the Vikings fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Goals: G — Caitlyn Baehr.
Saves: G — Hala Silverstein 3, Rachel Barker 2; MH — N/A.
Marriotts Ridge 2, Reservoir 1
The Mustangs improved to 2-2 with the win, while the Gators fell to 1-3. Julie Lawler and Kaylie Savage both scored for Marriotts Ridge, while Sophia Baxter tallied an assist. Maddy Davis scored for Reservoir off a pass from Sarah Weitzman.
Goals: MR — Julie Lawler, Kaylie Savage; N/A; Re — Maddy Davis.
Assists: MR — Sophia Baxter; Re — Sarah Weitzman.
Saves: MR — Amanda Windsor 0; Re — N/A.
The Hawks continued their impressive start to the season with another one-goal triumph. Sophomore Maddie Vasilios and senior Lindsey Miller each scored for the Hawks, while Gabi Rabold found the back of the cage for Howard (2-2). River Hill (4-0) has won four straight games by a score of 2-1.
Goals: RH — Maddie Vasilios, Lindsey Miller; Ho — Gabi Rabold.
Assist: RH — Laura Mason.
Saves: RH — Baker 1; Ho — Rachel Murphy 23.
Centennial 8, Wilde Lake 0
The Eagles completed their fourth straight shutout with the 8-0 win. Centennial (4-0) has outscored its opponents 35-0 this season. Helen Baldy registered three goals and an assist, while Haley Harris scored twice, to lead the way in the victory.
Goals: C — Helen Baldy 3, Haley Harris 2, Abby Cudzilo, Jamie Cole, Lily Rainey.
Assists: C — Cudzilo, Baldy, Alaina.
Hammond 5, Oakland Mills 0
Lauren Johnson scored two goals for Hammond, while Hannah Haber tallied two assists. Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Hammond scored two goals in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth. Three of Hammond’s goals were off penalty corners. The Golden Bears are now 2-2, while the Scorpions fell to 0-4 with the loss.
Goals: Ha — Lauren Johnson 2, Tova Chertok, Sierra Shaffer, Lizzy Hughes.
Assists: Ha — Hannah Haber 2, Rachel Osei, Charlotte Lampp.
Saves: Ha — N/A; OM — Katie Oliver 12, Saige Soskil 9.
Three different Raiders scored in the win over Long Reach (1-3). The win is Atholton’s third straight after losing their season opening. The Raiders have outscored their opponents 15-0 in their last three victories.
Goals: A — Ashlynn Donaldson, Emily Santos, Asha Derstine.
Assists: A — Bella Konrad.
River Hill 91, Oakland Mills 40
Building on a one-under-par opening day score of 28 points, Hawks’ freshman Benjamin Siriboury posted an even-par score of 27 points Wednesday at Fairway Hills. Colin Regan was right behind him with 25 points.
RH: Benjamin Siriboury 27, Colin Regan 25, Robbie Graham 20, Cam Campbell 19.
OM: Alex Tamai 16, Heath Franklin 12, Mason Cowell 6, Dominic Fernandez 6.
Caleb Taylor birdied his final three holes at Cattail Creek to shoot the best individual round of the day at 28 points (1-under).
G: Caleb Taylor 28, Michael Gloth 19, Roggen King 17, Ellis Waak 9.
Ha: Billy Liguori 18, Ryan DeLeon 16, Cal Hewitt 8, Connor Walls 6.
Marriotts Ridge 71, Wilde Lake 45
MR: Sangmin Lee 25, Daniel Tuma 23, Justin Allen 19, Navneet Kunadi 4.
WL: Henry Hilger 21, Michael Stra 14, Evan Schneider 10.
Howard 41, Reservoir 35, Mt. Hebron 22, Atholton 5
Ho: Jai Sheth 26, Greg Heiger 15.
Re: Justin Gutierrez 24, Kyle Ecker 11.
MH: Tyler 12, Bryce Kinberg 10.
Centennial 45, Long Reach 39
C: Shaylan Patel 16, Max Middleton 16, Noah Whipkey 7, Dominic Trojillo 6.
LR: Jake Filler 13, Garrett Watt 10, Ian Rullman 8, Ethan An 8.
Megan Kirkpatrick bounced back from making zero points on her first hole to shoot one-under the rest of the way en route to posting 25 points — the county’s best girls score for a second straight week.
G: Megan Kirkpatrick 25, Ally Abruscato 14, Amber Kostick 9, Norah Vanderpool 4.
River Hill 29, Oakland Mills 16
RH: Carolina Herrera 12, Mehar Sandhu 11, Simran Mulchandani 5, Cheng Trinity 1.
OM: Isabella Fernandez 10, Kylee Hoffman 6.
Wilde Lake 45, Marriotts Ridge 35
WL: Claire Bowen 19, Laurel Sands 14, Lindsey Sands 11, Erica Sweitzer 1.
MR: Alana Alexander-Giles 24, Charlene Pak 5, Kyla Erman 4, Navya Kunadi 2.
Reservoir 21, Mt. Hebron 6, Howard 0, Atholton 0
Re: Riyana Patel 12, Kate Abunassar 9.
MH: Julia Morton 4, Katie Katcheves 2.
Centennial 46, Long Reach 0
C: Hannah Fang 14, Sussie Park 12, Sanika Shah 11, Reagan Hubbard 9.