Schmidt leads Mount de Sales to third straight IAAM A Conference volleyball title

Three proved to be a lucky number for Mount de Sales Saturday night.

The No. 3 Sailors (19-1) rode senior Hannah Schmidt, who wears No. 3 on her jersey, to their third consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference volleyball title, defeating sixth-ranked Archbishop Spalding (17-2) three sets to none, 25-12, 25-12, 25-16, at Roland Park Country School.

Schmidt is the only player to be a a part of all three championships, and she said this one feels more like hers.

"The first year, I played behind Casey Mercier. Last year, I played behind [All-Metro Player of the Year] Katy Beck. This year, I was the leader and I got to step up," she said.

Schmidt (13 kills, two blocks, nine digs, three aces), who will attend UMBC on a volleyball scholarship next year, has played on the varsity all four years at Mount de Sales.

"After the Chapelgate game, she really stepped up and showed her leadership abilities," said Sailors coach Monica Owensby. "You could see that she really wanted it."

The Sailors fell behind in both the first and third games, but rallied each time. In the third game, Mount de Sales trailed 12-9 before running off nine of the next 11 points to take an 18-14 lead. The Cavaliers never threatened after that.

"They have a great team," said Spalding coach Scott Rombach. "We had trouble passing all night, and they took advantage of our mistakes."

In other action, John Carroll came from a two sets to none deficit to defeat Maryvale (9-7) and win the B conference crown, 25-27, 23-35, 25-22, 27-25, 15-11. The victory marked the Patriots' second consecutive B conference title and third overall. John Carroll finished undefeated in conference play.

Down 6-4 in the fifth set, the Patriots (14-5) used kills by Briana Lockhart and Nicole Wagner to score 11 of the final 20 points and take the title.

"We knew when they got up 2-0 that they were going to expect to win," said Wagner. "We just had to turn the intensity up and stop shooting ourselves in the foot."

Maryvale gave the Patriots fits, but the Lions were unable to finish. Their best opportunity came in the fourth set, when they held a 25-24 lead before John Carroll rallied to score the final three points.

In the C conference final, Friends (16-2) fought off two championship points in the final set to defeat Catholic (9-5), 25-16, 22-25, 25-17, 12-25, 18-16 and win its first ever volleyball title.

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