Kasey Mercier knew her Mount de Sales teammates needed a spark in their match against neighborhood rival Catonsville. Fortunately for the fourth-ranked Sailors, that spark turned out to be Mercier's arm.
The senior served 12 straight winners in a tight third game to help lead Mount de Sales to a 22-23, 25-15, 25-14, 25-18 win over No. 5 Catonsville in a nonleague match.
The game marked the first time that the schools - which have each been in existence for more than 100 years and are about five miles apart - have played a regular-season volleyball match.
"I live like five seconds away from Catonsville, so this was kind of special," said Mercier (10 kills, four aces). "We had a rough start in the first game, but we came together in the other games."
Catonsville (7-1) looked like the better team early. The Comets used kills by Casey Giovanazzi (eight) and Katie Bennett (four) to build a 14-8 lead and hold on for a 25-22 win.
The Sailors (7-1) awoke in the second game, taking advantage of several unforced errors by Catonsville - especially while serving - to blow open a tight game and win, 25-15, to tie the match at one apiece.
With Mount de Sales trailing 9-8 in the pivotal third game, Mercier stepped up to serve. When she finished, the Sailors led 20-9. They won the game, 25-14.
"That kid can really serve the ball," Comets coach Dorothy Gill said. "
The Comets rallied in the third game, gaining a 17-15 lead on a tap over the next by Giovanazzi. Then the Sailors' offense responded, going on a 10-1 run with kills by Mercier, Katy Buck (23), and Alex Garcia and aces by Natalie Vidmar and Kelly McGraw (40 assists) to close out the match.
NO. 8 PERRY HALL 2, EASTERN TECH 0:: Kevin Medrano scored in the 80th minute as the Gators (6-2) beat the host Mavericks (1-6).
CHESAPEAKE-BC 3, OVERLEA 2:: Lauren Maggio had three goals as the Bayhawks (4-2) defeated the visiting Falcons.
NORTH CARROLL 2, SOUTH CARROLL 1:: Brittney Coppa broke a tie with one minute left in regulation to give the Panthers (6-3) the win over the visiting Cavaliers (6-3). LOCH RAVEN 1, DULANEY 0, 2OT:: Sa'Sha Kershaw scored late in the second overtime to give the visiting Raiders (4-2-2) the victory.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.