There were tears flowing in front of the Maryvale bench after the Association of Independent Schools A Division Championship match last night at Essex Community College.
But they were tears of joy, as second-seeded Maryvale had rallied to score a 5-15, 15-10, 15-11 victory over top-seeded Friends for the school's first A Division volleyball championship.
Second-seeded McDonogh won its second straight championship in the B Division, outlasting fifth-seeded Beth Tfiloh, 15-7, 11-15, 15-9, in the title match.
For Maryvale (7-4), seven of its nine players were seniors and they wanted to end their careers with this title. After Friends (8-2) scored 11 of the match's first 12 points on the way to an easy victory, the Lions came to life.
"They wanted it very badly," said Maryvale coach Kathleen Arvin. "They wanted to go out strong."
Maryvale, sparked by the serving of several players, jumped out to a 9-0 lead in Game 2. Friends rallied to tie the match at 10. But Sara Bogdan took command for the Lions, serving four straight aces and the final five points.
Game 3 was a see-saw affair in which both teams took small leads at different times. But Bogdan came through again for Maryvale. With Friends leading 11-9, she served the final six points to give the Lions the title.
"I was just trying to get us back into the game," said Bogdan. "I knew where their weak spots were, and I just tried to place it there."
Maryvale also got strong efforts from Kerry Cavanaugh, Paddy Grygrowski, Casey King, Melissa Landis and Jessica Velez.
McDonogh (5-8) needed to stay patient against defensive-minded Beth Tfiloh (8-5). But the Eagles wore down the Warriors with their play at the net.
A Division Championship
Maryvale def. Friends, 5-15, 15-10, 15-11
A Division opening round
Bryn Mawr def. Oldfields, 9-15, 15-4, 16-14
Friends def. Bryn Mawr, 15-9, 15-12
Maryvale def. Notre Dame Prep, 17-15, 15-8
B Division Championship
McDonogh def. Beth Tfiloh, 15-7, 11-15, 15-9
B Division opening round
Beth Tfiloh def. Roland Park, 10-15, 15-0, 15-9
McDonogh def. Towson Catholic, 15-1, 15-3
Beth Tfiloh def. St. Paul's, 15-12, 7-15, 15-12