xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Notre Dame Prep beats Spalding to win IAAM A Conference title

Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame Prep has been the best regular-season team in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. The Blazers have just been waiting for a championship crown.

Saturday night they finally earned it, but it certainly wasn't easy.

Advertisement

No. 6 Notre Dame Prep (15-0) was down two sets to none, but rallied to post a 23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-9 victory over Archbishop Spalding in the A Conference championship at Roland Park.

The Blazers were led by Francesca Zink's 12 kills. Marisa DeLuca contributed 10 kills and six blocks.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"That's their way," said Notre Dame Prep coach Jim Isphording said of his team. "We played them during the regular season and fell behind [two sets to none], so I knew we could come back. I told them then that this was our year. Tonight, we proved that it was."

Spalding (14-7) did a great job early of keeping the Blazers on their heels. In the second set, the Cavaliers had a 21-8 lead, and some of NDP's wounds were self-inflicted. When the Cavaliers held on to win the set, 25-18, it looked like the Blazers would fall short of their goal.

Despite trailing in both the third and fourth sets, the NDP rallied to win both by identical 25-23 scores. The Blazers trailed by as many as five in the third set, and as many as six in the fourth set before rebounding.

The fifth set was all NDP. The Blazers took a 3-0 and then then 8-2 lead, and coasted to the 15-9 victory.

Advertisement

"We had six seniors on this team that saw us fall short of our goal last season," said Isphording, whose team was upset in the semifinals last year. "I just knew we wouldn't let that happen this year."

For Spalding, the loss was a case of running out of gas.

"We'll learn from this, and we'll get better next year," said Cavaliers coach Scott Rombach. "We had a little trouble with our passing towards the end, but it was a great match to watch."

Naiya Dalce (20 kills) and McKenzie Mensch (21 kills) led the Spalding offense.

No. 15 Roland Park wins 'B,' St. Timothy's wins 'C'

No. 15 Roland Park defended its Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B conference title Saturday, knocking off Chapelgate Christian, 25-17, 25-17, 25-14, in the championship.

The Reds (16-2) were led by outside hitters Bailey Andrews (14 kills) and Olivia Stevens (10 kills).

"They were the only team to have beaten us this year, and we were ready to dominate," said Stevens, a senior. "When we beat [A Conference team] St. Paul's a few weeks ago, it gave us all the confidence in the world.

"We thought we could beat anyone after that."

The closest set of the match was the second. The Yellowjackets (13-4) played even with Roland Park early, tying the match 10-10 on a kill by Rachel del Carmen. From that point, the Reds got two kills each by Andrews and Stevens to outscore Chapelgate 7-2 and run their lead to 17-12. Chapelgate never really threatened after that point.

"Not too much has changed for us since last year," Roland Park coach Shawn Slater said. "These girls never wanted practice to end. As the season went on, they just got better and better. It's been a great journey for me."

In the C Conference championship, St.Timothy's (12-5) used 15 kills and two blocks by senior Alara Kocak to defeat Annapolis Area Christian, 26-24, 25-15, 25-10. Setters Hailey Dayton and Caitlin Mays contributed 12 and 10 assists, respectively.

The volleyball title was the first for St. Timothy's since 2007. The Eagles finished 8-11 in their first year in the C Conference.

"The first set was very competitive, but I think that was just nerves," St. Timothy's coach Mike Buchanan said.

"They don't have a weapon like No. 13 [Kocak], and she was the difference maker."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement