Mount Hebron coach Jeannine McCrumb didn't have the most comprehensive scouting report on Towson's volleyball team, but what she did know about the Generals is that they would never give up.
And they didn't.
Towson fought the visiting Vikings of Howard County to the wire in three straight games last night, but couldn't score when it meant the most as Mount Hebron went on to win, 16-14, 16-14, 15-13, in the Class 2A, Region II final.
"A couple of my kids came and watched them when they played Hammond and I heard that they never gave up," said McCrumb, who must prepare her team for Wednesday's state playoff matchup with Glenelg. "One of my players told me that they were down 13-6 one game and they came back and won it, 15-13. We knew that they could do that, so we talked about it a lot and they were very scrappy."
The Generals (11-4) led the first game by as many as 5-1 and 9-4 behind the serving of Nisha Patel and Lindsay Sagnette and the front-line play of Abby Burk (13 kills). Both teams lived and died with the ace in Game 1, but it was Mount Hebron that found life as senior setter Kai Scott (34 assists) closed out the game with two of the Vikings' 21 non-returnable services.
"We knew they were strong servers and they hurt us, but we hurt them with our serves, too," said Towson coach Beverly Snyder. "I think the turning point was letting the balls drop in when we should have been playing them."
Vikings star hitter Kelly Quinn, a 5-foot-5 sophomore, finished with a game-high 17 kills, including one late in the second game to even the score 14-14.
After jumping to a 10-2 lead in Game 2, Mount Hebron (12-5) HTC found itself on the ropes again as the Generals battled back and scored seven unanswered points to close to 11-10. Dani Vissers, a 6-foot sophomore, ended Towson's hopes of a victory with one of her eight kills.
"We always seem to dig ourselves a hole just so we have to pull our way back out," said Quinn. "We knew we had to come together as a team."