One goal down, one to go for Dulaney's volleyball team.
Last night, the third-ranked Lions rolled past Bowie, 15-3, 15-5, 15-3, in a Class 4A state semifinal at CCBC-Essex. On Saturday, they will make their first appearance in the state title match, meeting Montgomery Blair for the championship at 5 p.m. at CCBC-Catonsville.
"This was our main goal," said Lions senior setter Erin Reinhardt, whose team has been to the semifinals twice in the past three years without at win. "But we don't have a state championship banner on our wall in our gym, and that's what we're aiming for now."
The Lions (19-0) took control by opening last night's match with four straight kills -- two from Nicole Tuttle and one each from Lindsay Lawson and Lauren Perkins. From that point on, the Bulldogs (16-3) spent most of their time on defense.
"This reminded me a lot of our last year's match, but the other way around," said Reinhardt, of the Lions' semifinal loss to eventual-champion Walt Whitman. "Whitman last year dominated us and set the pace for us, so we wanted to come in here and set the pace this time."
Reinhardt had 29 assists, most to Lawson, who had 10 kills, and Leanne Costa, who had nine. The Lions had 30 kills for the match, while the Bulldogs had just 12.
The Lions, who have lost only one game all season, finished off the first game last night with eight straight points, including three on Costa kills and two on Tuttle blocks. They also had little trouble running up big leads in the second and third games, suffering only short-lived letdowns late in both.
The Bulldogs have won six straight regional titles but start only one senior. They had neither the height nor the power to contend with Lions' team game -- nor their determination to reach the final.
The state title has been the only thing to elude this Lions team, which has won three straight Baltimore County titles and 23 straight matches against county foes.
Blair advanced by defeating No. 4 Severna Park, the only team to win a game from Dulaney this year.