South River fends off Broadneck in four sets

Despite winning in three sets when the teams met early in the season, the South River volleyball team knew it was going to get all it could handle from Broadneck on Wednesday.

The Bruins won the first set and had leads in each set the rest of the match, but South River found a way to win the Class 4A East Region Section II final in four sets, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21.

South River (15-2) advances to the region final and will host Arundel on Friday at 5 p.m. The Seahawks are going for their seventh region title and first since 1998.

“That match could have gone either way,” was the best way South River coach Maureen Carter could explain it.

Samanta Tarabella led the Seahawks with 22 kills and added 22 digs and went 10 for 12 serving. Most of her kills or blocks seemed to come in key moments for South River, which was down a set and fell behind 12-6 in the second. She had a pair of service points that tied the set at 17, then after the set was tied four more times, had two kills to wrap up the 25-23 victory and helped her team avoid falling in a 2-0 hole in sets.

“Whenever we needed a momentum swing, Samanta was able to give that to us,” Carter said. “Their defense was spectacular and they did mix up their shot selection well.”

Wednesday’s match was nothing like the Seahawks’ 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory that came in the Bruins’ first match of the year and second for the Seahawks.

Broadneck (10-4) appeared confident and caught the Seahawks off guard several times, especially with Makena Smith’s timely use of dumps that found the floor among a host of Seahawks. She finished with 10 kills (most on dumps), seven digs, five blocks, 38 assists and added 13 service points.

“We weren’t ready then,” said Broadneck coach Tracey Regalbuto, referring to the match in early September. “Tonight we were definitely ready and we were as prepared as we were going to be. We missed a few serves at big points and had trouble getting around the block a little bit, but I’m not disappointed. They played their hearts out tonight.”

Savannah Doctor added 15 kills and went 10 for 12 serving with an ace for South River. She had a kill that wrapped up the victory in the third set and closed the match by serving the final five points of the fourth after taking over with the Seahawks down, 21-20.

Erin Canter added 11 kills and went 11 for 12 with an ace, Emily Speciale had 45 assists and went 15 for 15, Anna Osterhouse went 15 for 16 and Amanda Vigil finished 10 for 12 for the Seahawks.

Carter also praised the play of Shannyn Mack, who had five blocks in the third set, including two late.

“She came up huge in that third game,” Carter said. “She had a lot of blocks and kept the momentum going.”

South River, the regular-season county champions, defeated Arundel in three sets in the regular season. The Wildcats turned the tables on the Seahawks with a four-set victory in the county championship.

“It will be nice to play Arundel again,” Carter said. “It will be in our gym, so maybe we’ll have a little bit of an advantage. We just have to play well against them because they’re good.”

Emma Quandt had eight kills, 11 service points and three blocks, Madison Chadwick followed with eight kills, nine digs and 19 service points, Natalie Luscomb had seven kills and a block and Reiland Brown had 22 digs for the Bruins, who won nine of 11 after starting the season 1-2.

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