With strong serving and a dominant net game, No. 2 Dulaney overwhelmed No. 3 Severna Park last night in what has become one of the area's hottest girls volleyball rivalries in only its second year.
The Lions, defending state Class 4A champs, rolled up an impressive 15-0, 15-5, 15-7 victory over the rebuilding Falcons. The Lions have won both meetings after taking last year's showdown in four games.
While the host Lions (2-0) made few mistakes last night, the Falcons struggled with passing and serving. The Falcons gave up nine points on errors in the first game alone. In the match, the Falcons made 10 service errors, including four straight after they had climbed within 10-7 from 9-3 in the third game.
"Serving really killed us," said Falcons coach Justin McCabe. "You can't fight for big sideouts and then miss a lot of serves. The last game, we missed four in a row and you can't come back like that, especially against a team like Dulaney."
In the final game, the Falcons served four times at 10-7 before Lions senior Lindsay Lawson served out the match. Lawson had three aces on the last five points.
The Falcons (0-2) led only briefly early in the second game, but the Lions rallied quickly to overcome a 4-2 deficit with eight straight points, including three aces on Lauren Perkins' serve.
The Lions later closed out the second game by showing off their strength at the net. Heather Hourihan had a block and a kill, while Perkins had a block and Nicole Tuttle had a block and the game-winning kill.
"We have been working a lot on blocking," said Tuttle. "We watched the hitter and we had our timing down. We just wanted to block them so bad."
Hourihan had five blocks for the match and Tuttle had four. Lawson, Bruna Fonseca and Jennifer Wylie were in on several combined blocks.
Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard, last year's All-Metro Coach of the Year, said, "This is the best we've ever blocked. If this is any indication of things to come, I'm going to be very excited about our play at the net. That's a bonus for us. We pride ourselves on being able to play defense, not necessarily being able to control the net."
Lawson finished with eight kills and seven assists.
The Falcons, state semifinalists last season, had a lot of trouble returning Dulaney's serves. Without strong first passes, they weren't able to generate much offense. Jennifer Lebowitz led the team with four kills.