Glenelg volleyball coach Jen Beall tried yelling. She tried begging. She even tried motivational speaking, and still nothing was working.
The heavily favored Gladiators were playing flat, and they were in danger of losing to Worcester County's Stephen Decatur in the Class 2A state semifinals last night at CCBC-Essex.
Finally, she tried bribery.
"I told them if they'd suck it up and win, I'd buy them sweat pants," Beall said. "When we won regionals, I got them sweat shirts. Nothing else was working, so I figured I'd try to bribe them."
Never underestimate the power and the promise of sweat pants. The fifth-ranked Gladiators took Beall's offer and ran with it, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Seahawks, 13-15, 15-8, 14-16, 15-7, 15-13, to advance to the 2A state championship game against No. 2 Towson at noon Saturday at CCBC-Catonsville.
"Hey, whatever works," Beall said afterward with a shrug.
The comeback, which came mostly behind the strength of 13 kills from Adrienne McGill and 12 from Sarah Tursell, saved Glenelg (16-3) from perhaps its worst passing performance of the season.-- Kevin Van Valkenburg
Towson 3, Lackey 0: After No. 2 Towson ran up a 6-0 lead in the first game of its state Class 2A volleyball semifinal against Lackey, the Generals' fans began chanting, "It's all over. It's all over."
They weren't exactly right, but they weren't far off.
About 40 minutes later, the Generals emerged with a 15-1, 15-9, 15-5 victory at CCBC-Essex to advance to the state final for the first time since 1977.
"We're all really excited," said Towson setter Michelle Clarke. "This is what we've been working for all season. "
Last year, the Generals made it to the state semifinals only to be eliminated by eventual champion Centennial. This time, Glenelg knocked four-time defending champ Centennial out in the regional semifinals.
The Generals (18-1) will meet No. 5 Glenelg for the title Saturday at noon at CCBC-Catonsville.
Last night, the Generals won their 18th straight match with a dominating middle presence. Middle hitters Stephanie Kines and Emily Berman had 10 kills each and they faced, at most, a single blocker.-- Katherine Dunn