Mount Hebron volleyball coach Jeanine McCrumb said she didn't know a whole lot about Broadneck heading into yesterday's Class 3A East regional semifinal match.
What she was aware of, however, was the Bruins' vulnerability on serve receiving.
As it turned out, that was all the fourth-seeded Vikings needed to know.
No. 7 Mount Hebron jumped all over top-seeded and third-ranked Broadneck in the first two games and advanced to the regional final with a 15-1, 15-7, 10-15, 15-13 win.
The Vikings (10-5) will travel to two-time defending state champion Centennial, which coasted to a three-game victory over Poly in the other semifinal, for tomorrow's regional championship match.
"I could tell during the warm-ups that we had the emotional edge because [Broadneck] got real quiet," McCrumb said. "I'm real happy with the way my team is playing and the position that we're now in. We like coming in as the underdog, and we're the underdog for sure."
Despite their lower seeding against the Bruins, Mount Hebron appeared to be the favorite from the outset of last night's match. Behind the serving of Kelly Quinn (20 of 24 serving, nine aces), the Vikings jumped out to a 6-0 lead in Game 1 and never looked back.
The Vikings expanded the margin to 11-1 after two service winners by Quinn and closed out the match with an ace by Sarah Eberhart (17 of 17 serving).
Mount Hebron, which moved up to Class 3A this season after claiming back-to-back Class 2A state titles, took a 6-0 lead in Game 2 and led 8-1 after one of Kathy Doyle's team-high four blocks.
Broadneck (13-2), which moved down to Class 3A this year, made a slight charge at the Vikings and cut the lead to 8-5 after two aces by senior Amanda Barchowicz.
The Bruins stayed with their opponents throughout the third game and eventually won the game, 15-10, on an ace by Theresa Koester.
Broadneck put a scare into the visitors from Howard County in Game 4 and led 13-12 before Lia Kaltreider's serving and a match-winning dink by Sylvia Kaltreider did the Bruins in.
"We lost nine seniors to graduation and we had four juniors out there and they just froze up," Broadneck coach Glenn Brainer said. "When we played Severna Park earlier in the season we did the same thing. I thought we played well the last two games and you wouldn't even know it was the same team out there. We can hit with that team and we can play defense and serve but we couldn't serve receive.
"It was like they were saying, 'I don't want the ball because I don't want to mess up.' Once they got over that and finally realized that this team isn't any different than anyone else, they started playing well. Unfortunately, it was a little too late."