The Towson Generals aren't very big, and their height certainly won't scare anyone. Their two best players — Bosse and Lacy — sound more like a law firm than a dynamic duo. But the Generals want you to know one thing — it's all about the picture on the wall.
"There's a tradition at Towson that, when you win a state championship, you get your team picture on the wall," said Towson coach Emily Berman, The Baltimore Sun's Volleyball Coach of the Year last season. "They've made it clear to me that that's what they want."
First things first, though. The host Generals (14-0) took a big step toward their goal Thursday, beating No. 15 Dulaney (11-2) three sets to none, 25-15, 25-11, 25-16. The win puts fourth-ranked Towson firmly in the driver's seat in Baltimore County.
"We came together today," said junior Kelly Lacy (eight kills, seven aces). "They are our rival, so we really wanted to beat Dulaney. We played great defense, and that was a major reason why we won."
It's that defense that allows the Generals — whose tallest player is 5-foot-10 Lauren Bosse — to sneak up on teams.
"I guess we do [surprise teams] a little bit," said Bosse (nine kills), also a junior. "That usually lasts until they see us play. We're a small team, but we're a scrappy one, too."
The Generals fell behind in each of the three sets, but in all cases, they came storming back. The third set was emblematic of the day. After the Lions used three service winners by Brynn Christensen (three kills) to take a 4-1 lead, Towson used Lacy's elusive serve to score the next nine points and take a 10-4 lead. They were never threatened after that en route to a 25-16 win to take the match.
Towson lost seven players to graduation, five of whom started, but the chemistry is still present. Last year's team made it to the state semifinals before falling in a five-set thriller to River Hill.
"I think River Hill took us lightly last year," said Berman, who has her picture on the wall after playing on Towson's 2001 state volleyball championship team. "We're a smart team, and we wear other teams down defensively. I think you saw that today. "
Dulaney coach Cary Lyon, who most likely will see Towson in the county championship in his gym Wednesday, said the game came down to one thing for his side.
"You can have the best servers, the best hitters, and the best setters, but in the end, the game comes down to passing. We didn't pass very well today."