COLLEGE PARK – A high school volleyball battle ensued at the Ritchie Coliseum between the Frederick Douglass Eagles and the Perryville Panthers with a chance to advance to the 1A girls’ state finals.
With a win-or-go-home scenario in place, both teams left it all out on the hardwood. Despite Douglass’ best efforts, Perryville was too much for the Lady Eagles to handle as the Panthers won in three consecutive sets (25-4, 25-7, 25-15) on Nov. 15 to move on to the state championship.
From the first serve of the match, Perryville showed no mercy against its opponent. Led by senior libero Hailey Jones’ serves, the Panthers started the set by scoring 17 straight points as Douglass looked lost and missed out on countless opportunities.
Jones placed her serves in perfect spots on the floor as Douglass struggled to get to them in time. The Eagles could not contain Jones or Perryville as they got destroyed in the first set, 25-4.
“We weren’t used to the speed of the game, and we haven’t had a lot of competition with strong serves like that,” Douglass Head Coach Angela Alcain said.
Perryville carried the momentum over to start the second set. The Panthers got off to another hot start and went on a 7-0 run.
Douglass scored the next point, but it was all downhill from there. With its combination of aces and spikes, Perryville went on a 13-0 run and pushed its lead to 20-1, which was the same exact score at one point during the first set. Despite Douglass going on a 5-3 run, the result of the second set was déjà vu as Perryville went on to win, 25-7.
With their backs against the wall, the Eagles had their best performance of the night in the third set. Tied at four early, Douglass fought tooth and nail to stay alive. However, Perryville pulled away and broke the tie with a 10-3 run, which made the score 14-7.
Although Douglass put up 15 points, which was more than its first two sets combined, Perryville outscored Douglass 11-8 to win the third set for the sweep.
“We did a little bit better with serve and receiving,” Alcain said about her team’s effort in the third set. “I think the serves were a little bit easier, but they set up a few more plays and we got a few more blocks as well.”
Senior setter Kambrea Quihuiz led Douglass with eight digs, while senior middle blocker Morgan Eugene had three aces.
Jones led Perryville with 14 aces and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Jordan Carr was also a critical factor in the win as she finished the night with 17 assists. Senior outside hitter Bea Muscella added nine kills.
Perryville will have a fierce battle against Smithsburg High School in the state championship on Saturday. Smithsburg has only lost two sets in four games, while Perryville has lost three sets in four games.