Dulaney had something to prove when Severna Park came calling for yesterday's nonleague volleyball match and the Lions did in a big way.
The host and No. 10 Lions swept the No. 5 Falcons, 15-1, 15-8 and 15-6. The win left Dulaney 2-0 and Severna Park 0-3.
Senior hitter Jennifer Wylie proved she is over a foot injury that kept her out most of last season. Yesterday, she dominated at the net with a match-high 20 kills along with four aces and 17 digs.
Bruna Fonseca, the second of four Lions seniors, had 30 assists and eight digs. Fonseca, Wylie, and senior Fallon Bakalich, who had four aces, and the rest of the team came out and played with purpose.
"We definitely proved the polls wrong and that's what fueled my girls, the fact that we were down so low in polls," said Lions first-year coach Joanne Marshall, who graduated from UMBC last year where she was an outstanding player following a brilliant high school career at Northern in Calvert County.
"It [being No. 10] definitely helped today."
Marshall took over for Ian Blanchard, who led the Lions to four straight appearances in the state final four while winning back-to-back state titles in 1999 and 2000.
The loss of Blanchard, who is now coaching Baltimore County Community College-Catonsville, and several players to graduation projected a decline for the Lions this season.
"Coming into the season, we didn't know what to expect, having a new coach and everything," said Fonseca.
"People were counting us out because our coach is not that experienced, but we should be fine and be a lot better than last year. People really put us down, ranking us 10th, and that gave us motivation to go out and show everyone that you can't count Dulaney out."
Wylie said the Lions "proved today we can do it with any coach."
"We play the toughest teams we can schedule, and win or lose it makes us better," said Falcons coach Julie Allen.
Severna Park has lost to No. 1 Towson, D.C.-area ranked Calvert and Dulaney. A bright spot for the Falcons yesterday was junior Katherine O'Brien, who Allen said has been the team's most consistent player.