Both Loyola Blakefield, Towson, and Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn, came into the MIAA volleyball finals as second seeds, yet both came out victorious on Nov. 2 at Archbishop Spalding.
The Spalding Cavaliers were playing for the MIAA B Conference title and defeated St. Paul’s in four games. The Cavs were led offensively by junior Rickey Dorsey and senior Zachary Fritz. Both can lay down a powerful spike.
In the fourth and final game of the match, the Cavaliers came from behind to top St. Paul’s 25-17 on a winning serve from Fritz. The Cavs had retained the title in 2005.
In the second of two matches, Loyola Blakefield pulled themselves together to capture the A Conference match from Gilman 18-25, 25-20, 25-27, 27-25 and 15-12.
It was a battle of strength at the net, and for Loyola, a battle of the minds as the Dons were getting down on themselves before Tim Baier, Loyola head coach, called timeout and gave his players a reality check. “I reminded the players that we do best when we have fun, and we weren’t out there having fun.”
Baier’s reminder served as the perfect wake-up call as the Dons blasted into action on junior Trevor Dauses’ powerful and effective jump serves and seniors Tristan Deppe and Nick LaVardera’s stellar offensive threats and defensive stops.
Credit goes to the Dons who were often down but never out as Gilman kept coming at them with quick flicks and powerful kills. But the Dons stayed the course and kept fighting back with quick hands, quick reactions and teamwork.