When Patapsco’s Morgan Hug started the match against Dundalk by serving 12 straight points, it appeared the Patriots were going to make quick work of the Owls.
But it’s never that easy when Patapsco and Dundalk meet on the volleyball court.
The visiting Patriots did eventually win, but only after a grueling 25-18, 25-15, 13-25, 25-15 match on Friday.
The fourth set was close, Patapsco leading 17-15, when Hug ended the match as she started it: with a long service run.
Hug served seven unanswered points after an Owl spike went wide to nail down the win for Patapsco.
She served four aces during the match-clinching run. Morgan Dennis and Maddy Crawley had spikes, and Dennis scored the final point with a block.
Patapsco also benefited from a long service run in the second set.
With the score tied at 14-14 and Dundalk threatening to tie the match at one set apiece, the Patriots regained the serve on a hit by Evelyn Sibiski to take a 15-14 lead.
Heather Staudt served eight straight points for a 23-14 lead that essentially clinched the set.
Sibiski had a spike during the run, but Staudt mainly kept Dundalk off-balance with serves that made it difficult for the Owls to set up their attack.
After an exchange of serves, Emily Connell won the set with an ace.
Long service runs were also the key to Dundalk’s victory in the third set.
Trailing 5-4, Dundalk tied the score on a spike by Gurkamal Kaur, and Keyshawna Warren served six straight points for an 11-5 Owl lead.
Warren served three aces during her run.
Later in the set, with Dundalk leading 17-13, Kaitlyn Ross served nine unanswered points to give the Owls a 25-13 win.
Ross served four aces before the Patriots were able to put a serve in play. Then she added two more aces before the match ended when a Patapsco spike went wide.
Dundalk showed its grit in the first game when, after falling behind 12-0, the Owls battled back to get to within 23-17 as Lilyian Hafner served four straight points.
Hafner had two aces and Wallace nailed a spike, but Patapsco’s Hug ended the Owl run with a dig.
A passing error sent the serve back to Dundalk, but Dennis ended the set with a spike.
Hug served 24 points in the match. Ross had 16 service points for Dundalk.
Both teams were coming off five-set victories over Owings Mills. The Owls also swept host New Town on Sept. 11.
Both teams were to play at Kenwood this week; Patapsco on Wednesday and Dundalk on Friday after hosting Pikesville on Wednesday.
The Patriots host New Town on Friday.
Sparrows Point is winless after two matches, losing in four sets to visiting Carver A&T on Sept. 11 and getting swept by last year’s Class 1A runner-up Western Tech on Monday.
The Pointers host Chesapeake on Friday and do not have another home match until Lansdowne on Oct. 4.