The Dundalk volleyball team played well in most areas when it hosted Parkville on Monday, but one key deficiency led to a 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 loss to the Knights.
The Owls struggled to return serves.
Parkville served close to 25 aces in the three sets, and even when the Owls managed to put the serve in play they often struggled to set up their attack.
The key moment took place in the second set, when Dundalk led 20-11 and seemed on the verge of tying the match at one set each.
Parkville scored 14 of the last 17 points, with seven service aces.
The Owls led 23-18 and had the serve, but lost it on a spike by Parkville’s Aaliyah Lucius.
Dundalk never regained the serve, as Parkville ran off the last five points. Lucius served four straight aces, then Anna MacFarland ended the set with a spike.
The Owls had led 11-8 in the second set when a strong service run by Briana Christian extended their lead to 17-8.
Christian served two aces during the six-point surge, and Aubrey Stulich landed a spike.
A late lapse also cost Dundalk in the first set. The Owls led 16-15, only to have Parkville score 10 of the last 12 points.
Aces accounted for five of those points, including three straight aces from MacFarland to close out the set.
The Owls generally held their own at the net against the taller Knights. Gurkamal Kaur, Kyra Wallace and Sonya Johnson challenged the Parkville hitters and made some key blocks, while Stulich and Emma Wischhusen were consistent on their spikes.
But it wasn’t enough to offset Parkville’s serving advantage.
Parkville moved out to an early 10-3 lead in the third set.Dundalk got to within 10-7, and the score was 17-12 after a spike by Wallace.
Two aces increased Parkville’s lead from 21-14 to 23-14. Successful dinks by Wallace and Kaur briefly held off the Knights, but an Owl error and a Lucius spike ended the match.
The loss frustrated Dundalk’s bid for a three-match winning streak. The Owls (3-7) swept New Town on Friday and defeated host Woodlawn in four sets on Oct. 7.
Sparrows Point was to host Loch Raven on Wednesday and Perry Hall on Thursday in its Senior game.
Patapsco was swept by visiting Kenwood on Monday.