One down, one big one to go for the Severna Park volleyball team.
The Falcons opened up 3A East Region I playoff play Monday by dispatching Stephen Decatur in straight sets, winning 25-7, 25-9, 25-12 to advance to this week’s region final.
Severna Park won eight of the first nine points in the match and never looked back to a dominant win.
“We’re happy for the most part with how we played,” said Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar. “The girls were aggressive on attack and with the serve, and that really helped tonight.”
Perry Stevenson anchored Severna Park’s attack, logging 14 of the team’s 34 kills. On the service line, the Falcons racked up 22 service aces, led by seven from libero Annabelle Mora. Mora also had five digs, while Stevenson added four.
Setters Jennifer Hong and Gena Willis combined for 30 assists, while Lizzie Ranaghan added eight kills and four aces.
“We felt pretty confident that we could come out and play a good game tonight,” Stevenson said. “We just have to lock in and play every game like it’s our last, because it really could be the last one.”
Severna Park’s goal of returning to the state quarterfinals rests on a mountainous task: beating perennial championship contender Arundel on Wednesday in the region final.
The Wildcats have won two of the last three state championships and made the final in four of the last five state competitions. In 2023 they haven’t lost a match (21-0) and have only dropped four sets — though one of those was to Severna Park on September 19.
A lot of time has passed since then, though, and while the Falcons would like to take some optimism from that, the enormity of their task is not lost on them.
“We’re heavy underdogs and we know that,” Dunbar said. “We’ve gotten better, but Arundel is really good and they’ve gotten a lot better too. The girls will believe they can win. All we ask of them is to do what they can as well as they can, and the result is the result.”