COLLEGE PARK — The SEED School of Maryland's girls volleyball team got its first taste of Maryland state tournament play Tuesday, but unfortunately for the Sabers, the Class 1A state semifinal opponent was perennial state champion Smithsburg.
The Leopards, 11-time state champs and winners in six of the past seven tournaments, swept the SEED School, 3-0, at Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. The scores were 25-3, 25-5 and 25-4.
The Sabers were limited in scoring chances at the net, earning just four kills. Tamiyana Lynch, Madison Shertinger, Aaliyah Settles and Michealah Phifer had a kill each.
Nakita Bacarreza led with five digs, and Acacia Dorsey added three digs.
The Sabers had seven service errors and no aces. The Leopards (18-1) had 27 aces and just four service errors. Sydney Scott was the main force for Smithsburg with 12 kills, and Katie McCracken had 24 assists.
SEED's season ended at 11-6.
Perryville d. McDonough, 3-0: The Panthers (18-3-1) are back in the Class 1A state championship match for the fourth time in six years.
Perryville earned that berth with a semifinal win over the Rams at Ritchie Coliseum. The scores were 25-12, 25-16 and 25-20.
The Panthers will meet nemesis Smithsburg in Saturday's 1A championship match. In three previous state finals (2011, 2012, 2014), Perryville has lost to Smithsburg. Saturday's match will begin at 5 p.m.
"We're fortunate to be back again this year, and we know that every year. It's not something we take for granted. We're happy to be here," Panthers coach Matt Borelli said.
The first set was tied at 7, but senior setter Rose Porch served Perryville to a 13-8 lead.
Senior hitter Teri Wennersten then took over to open the lead up to nine, 17-8.
Wennersten had two kills and a block for another point after a serving error by the Rams.
"I have to give my credit to Rose, my setter. It's all thanks to her. I couldn't do it without her," said Wennersten, who finished with eight kills and a block.
The Panthers' lead grew to 22-12, forcing McDonough to call timeout. Out of the timeout, the Panthers scored three straight points, with senior Gabby Goodnow putting away two kills in the process.
Goodnow was the dominating force at the net for Perryville, putting down 16 of the Panthers' 42 kills.
Perryville ran out to an 11-5 lead in set two and looked as if it might run away with it when Hailey Jones delivered a back-row kill to make it 13-5.
McDonough, though, hung tough and took advantage of a number of Panthers hitting mistakes, climbing back into the set. The once 14-8 Perryville lead was down to two, 15-13, forcing the Panthers to call timeout.
McDonough was a bit more competitive in the final set, having the set tied at 17 all, before Perryville closed the match out on an 8-3 run.