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Reservoir volleyball comes back to beat Howard; Gators and Lions to share county championship | Howard County sports roundup

In a match to determine the Howard County champion, Reservoir volleyball had its back against the wall Thursday.

Trailing Howard 2-1 after three sets, Reservoir fell behind 19-14 in the fourth game. But the Gators didn’t back down, winning 12 of the next 17 points to come back and send the match to a fifth set.

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After falling down 7-3 early in the final set, the Gators battled back once again to earn the comeback victory, 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11). The triumph also clinched Reservoir (13-1) a share of the Howard County championship with Howard (13-1), as the squads split their two matchups this season.

“This is a great feeling. I’m really happy and relieved,” said Reservoir libero Gabby Allen, who led the Gators with 16 digs. “At the beginning of the year, people didn’t think we’d be as good anymore because we didn’t have [Howard County spring 2021 Player of the Year] Kayla Browne. We just wanted to prove everyone wrong. And tonight, we didn’t have anything to lose. All the pressure was on Howard.”

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Howard, which entered the contest undefeated, beat Reservoir, 3-1, in mid-September. That victory gave the Lions revenge for their loss to Reservoir in the county championship match this past spring, which the Gators won to claim the title and an undefeated season.

On Thursday, the roles were reversed.

“We definitely had that determination today. We wanted to get back at them,” said Gators hitter Samiha Foster, who led Reservoir with 32 kills. “The way we felt after that game, we never want to feel that way again. We knew we’d redeem ourselves.”

Despite the loss, Howard still ends the regular season as co-county champions, a feat that isn’t lost for Lions coach Allison McCoy.

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“This team has been firing since Day 1 and playing like a midseason team since the beginning of the season,” she said. “Even though it didn’t go the way we wanted today, I’m still proud of this team.”

Similar to the matchup in September, Howard handily won the first set to take an early lead. Corrine Chau was excellent for the Lions, especially in the first three sets. The junior hitter amassed 32 kills and nine dig in the loss.

But Reservoir bounced back in the second set, with Kelsey Holmes (seven kills) smashing the game-winning kill. Howard then won the third set by three points, staving off a strong comeback attempt from the Gators.

In the vital fourth set, Howard had a 17-13 lead when setter Ayanna Pharoah (42 assists) went down with a sprained ankle. She missed the next 12 points, and when she re-entered, the Gators trailed by only two. She gutted out the rest of the contest but was clearly hobbled with the ankle injury.

“It’s definitely a challenge because we rely on Ayanna to run the offense,” said McCoy. “I was proud of Eleni [Perrus] to be willing to step in, but our focus will be on getting [Pharoah] healed and ready for playoffs.”

Howard was one point away from victory, up 24-23, but the Gators won the final three points to win the game.

“We try to focus on the mental toughness of our game,” said Reservoir coach Carole Ferrante. “Volleyball is all about momentum and rhythm. We work on that to make sure we know how to handle that when it happens in a game.”

Both teams now look forward to the postseason, as the MPSSAA volleyball seeds will be released Nov. 1.

Reservoir def. Howard — 3-2 [17-25, 25-20, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11]

Reservoir stats: Jess Rothermel (23 assists), Samiha Foster (32 kills, 2 aces, 11 digs, 2 blocks), Madison Hill (4 kills, 3 blocks), Gabby Allen (16 digs, 3 assists), Kelsey Holmes (7 kills), Haley Ko (29 assists, 7 digs), Anjola Omolewa (9 kills, 1 block), Maddie Beckett (5 kills, 1 block).

Howard stats: Briana May (4 aces, 22 digs, 3 assists), Morgan Harris (1 ace, 12 digs), Sophia Platt (2 aces, 9 digs), Tyller Williams (3 kills, 8 digs), Ayanna Pharoah (42 assists, 2 kills, 12 digs), Corinne Chau (32 kills, 9 digs).

Records: Re 13-1; Ho 13-1.

OTHER VOLLEYBALL SCORES:

Mt. Hebron def. Long Reach — 3-1 [25-10, 25-19, 19-25, 25-15]

Mt. Hebron stats: Caroline Zheng (16 digs, 2 assists), Emerson Rose (23 assists, 11 digs, 2 aces, 1 kill), Ava Bradley (8 kills, 10 digs, 1 block), Juliana Guzman (12 digs, 2 aces), Rachel Swigart (10 kills, 1 block), Anastasia Zambidis (9 assists, 5 digs), Jillian Shoultz (7 kills, 1 assist, 3 blocks), Emma Kate Bates (7 kills, 5 digs).

Long Reach stats: Allison Brown (8 kills, 2 blocks, 5 digs), Isabella Mora (1 ace, 9 kills, 16 digs), Hayley Norton (1 ace, 20 assists, 9 digs), Mia Rubio (3 aces, 2 assists, 11 digs), Kailey Young (7 kills, 11 digs).

Records: MH 6-7; LR 2-12, 3-12.

Centennial def. Hammond — 3-0 [25-17, 25-19, 25-23]

Centennial stats: Mailinh Godschall (12 kills, 1 ace, 10 digs), Abi Griffin (9 kills, 1 block), Emma Booth (1 kill), Holli Kraisser (1 kill, 4 aces, 4 digs), Kaley MacLellan (5 kills, 2 blocks), Jenny Dong (1 kill, 2 aces, 5 digs), Brianna Bossom (2 kills, 3 aces, 7 digs, 27 assists).

Records: C 10-4; Ha 4-10.

Marriotts Ridge def. Oakland Mills — 3-0 [25-14, 25-18, 25-15]

Marriotts Ridge stats: Olivia Kuznetsova (7 kills, 3 aces, 1 block), Leah Liu (13 kills. 2 aces), Rhisen Davis (13 kills, 4 aces, 7 digs), Eva Hull (31 assists, 5 digs).

Oakland Mills stats: Kathryn Rogan (1 ace, 5 digs, 22 assists), Shanai Smith (6 kills, 3 digs), Rihanna Davies (1 ace, 1 kill, 1 block), Paige McPhillips (1 ace, 2 kills, 1 block, 3 digs), Zhenzhu Nelson (2 aces, 14 kills, 15 digs).

Records: MR 9-4; OM 1-12.

River Hill def. Glenelg — 3-0 [25-21, 25-18, 25-23]

Glenelg stats: Sydney Yoon (1 assist, 13 digs), Sarah Parker (4 kills, 2 aces, 11 digs), Lindsay Kelley (1 kill, 3 blocks, 18 assists, 3 digs), Liesl Walter (2 kills, 3 blocks), Lauren Lapointe (4 kills, 2 digs), Mackenzie Calhoun (8 kills, 15 digs).

River Hill stats: Abby Chicorelli (8 kills, 1 block, 2 digs), Grace Leska (7 kills, 2 digs), Shreeni Chikyala (8 kills, 5 blocks, 5 digs), Erin Li (21 digs, 2 aces), Molly Xu (17 assists, 1 ace, 9 digs), Sungeen Ghuman (9 assists, 3 aces, 3 digs), Brooke Laumann (1 ace, 1 dig).

Records: RH 10-3, G 8-5.

Atholton def. Wilde Lake — 3-0

Records: A 4-11; WL 0-13.

GIRLS SOCCER:

Atholton 2, Catonsville 1

Goals: A — Ava Morales, Catherine Cole.

Assists: A — Kate Illei.

Saves: A — Katie Wood 5.

Records: A 7-3-1 county, 8-3-1 overall.

River Hill 1, Centennial 0

Goals: RH — A. Omitowoju.

Saves: RH — C. Duffy 5; C — O. Jackson 6.

Halftime: 0-0.

Records: RH 8-3, 9-5; C 4-7.

Reservoir 6, Laurel 0

Records: Re 4-7, 6-8.

BOYS SOCCER:

Reservoir 3, Laurel 2

Records: Re 6-5, 7-5.

Liberty 3, Marriotts Ridge 1

Records: MR 6-5, 6-6.

Atholton 5, Catonsville 0

Goals: A — Jacob Fato 2, Alec Laraway 2, Rajendra Khadka.

Assists: A — Josh Martins 2, Fato, Brandon Caraballo, Denton Guy-Williams.

Records: A 5-6, 6-6.

River Hill 3, Dulaney 0

Goals: RH — Aidan Edmonds, Antonio Paulino, Noah Hanson.

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Assists: RH — Paulino, Jai Khanna.

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Records: RH 8-2, 10-3.

Winters Mill 3, Hammond 2 (OT)

Goals: WM — Ben Weller 3; Ha — Daniel Adeyokunnu, Eliot O’Neil.

Assists: Ha — Lincoln Thang, Walid Khokar.

Saves: WM — Manny Shuman 6; Ha — Emmanuel Addo 22.

Halftime: 1-0, Ha.


Don’t see scores or stats from your favorite team? Send results and any game information to Jacob Meyer at jameyer@baltsun.com.

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