The communication and precision teamwork was lacking at times, but the skill and physical talent is what was on display in last night's Baltimore County Senior All-Star volleyball match at Loch Raven High School.
1l In the end, it was the Loch Raven-dominated Blue team that shined brightest as it defeated its Red counterpart, 8-15, 17-15, 15-11, 15-11, for neighborhood bragging rights.
"They were a little tense in the first game and it showed," said Loch Raven coach Carol McPherson, who coached five of her own players as well as two from Towson and Overlea and one each from Hereford and Owings Mills. "Considering they hadn't played in over a week and they've only practiced together just one time, I think they looked pretty good. I was very proud of them."
The Red team moved out to a 3-0 lead in the opening game, but the Blue quickly worked its way back and took a 4-3 lead behind the serving of Loch Raven's Robyn Disney and the all-around hustle of Abby Burk. Burk, a 5-foot-10 hitter from Towson, picked up three of her 13 kills in Game 1, but didn't really didn't get warmed up until midway through the second game.
"Coach McPherson told us before the match that she had never lost an All-Star game so we felt like we had to win it for her," said Bhanos, who averaged 3.2 kills a game this season. "We were excited to play and we wanted to win. It took us awhile to get together but we did."
The Red team, which was also comprised of four players from Perry Hall (16-2), two from Catonsville and Randallstown and one each from Dulaney, Kenwood and Randallstown, fell behind 10-1 in Game 3 and never could make up the lost ground.
Game 4 saw the score tied 11 times before the Blue took over in the contest to claim a 15-11 victory.
"I thought the two teams were very evenly matched," said Perry Hall coach Pam Wilt. "[The Blue] played a great game and they won, but I wouldn't trade my players for anyone."