Update: November 28, 2018
On November 20, 2018 the Atholton Raiders Volleyball team competed against the Bel Air Bobcats for there second state championship in three years. Bad blood was already in the air even before the first serve, as the opposing student sections were having a battle to see who could be the loudest. Spectator Darren Miller said “they all (students) turned around when they introduced our team, so we had to make sure we yelled louder then they did for their teams introductions.”
In the previous game, the Raiders seemed to have started the match off slow, but not this match. It was all Atholton in the first set, as a Bel Air player hit it out of bounds for Atholtons first points of the game. The Raiders seemed to have not slowed down since. The Raiders were in control the whole first set as they went on a 7-0 run when they were up 4-3.. Senior star, Lisa Zoch, said “we played with mental toughness, and together,” about the diffrence from the previous matches first set loss and this matches.
The Raiders kept that momentum for the second set, as they were leading the Bobcats for all of the second set. It was their game to take and everyone in the crowd knew it. “Once they went up 2-0, I knew they had states in the bag” said Junior Cheyenne Etemadi.
In the third and final set, the Raiders started out with a sizeable lead. Though the Bobcats did not give up, even spectators could see the emotion the Bobcats were playing with. Although, it was not enough as the highly skilled and well coached Raiders jumped out to a big lead. The Raiders won the third and final set 25-15.
The Raiders had three goals they referred to at the beginning of the season which they referred to as the triple crown. Those goals were to win the county, win the region, and win the 3A state championship. They accomplished all and made history going undefeated (19-0) and only losing three out of sixty sets.
Updated Semi-states November 18, 2018
As Atholton volleyball found themselves on the losing end of the first set to the Westminster Owls, the crowd was shocked. This was the first time in thirty-seven
sets that the Raiders had lost. Unfamiliar with losing a set, the crowd was shocked as the usual screaming had stopped yet the players seemed to have been unbothered.
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun coach Larry Schofield said “They were loose, they were focused,” he continued to say “They weren’t worrying about that loss because they knew they could come back and they knew what their abilities are.”
This was the regional championship on November 14, 2018. The two teams that faced off in the game were the Atholton Raiders of Howard County and the Westminster Owls of Carroll County. The second set the Raiders went up 8-7 and were not behind for the rest of the set. They won the second set but the third started with a shaky start. Westminster was up 7-3 but senior standout Lisa Zoch who was also named Howard County Player of the Year last year, scored three straight points to get Atholton back in the game. Once Atholton took the lead, they never relinquished it.
Although in the fourth set they showed their dominance, the Owls’ were only up at one point in the fourth set and it did not take long for them to regain the lead. The Raiders ended up winning the set with the final point scored by Zoch.
Although Atholton started off the match losing a set, the girls kept their composure. The girls will be competing in the state finals on Tuesday November 20, 2018 at the Ritchie Coliseum. If you are in need of transportation, you can sign up for the fan bus with the following link.https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7qqRe8R8_Mrv_-tb-S-DNLDlVI3XEd5UdVP6fzxXWOT3KkA/viewform
The girls are looking to complete the goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the season, the “Triple Crown” which is winning the county, region, and state titles. In the same interview with the Baltimore Sun Schofield said “They set that goal for the ‘triple crown’ and they’ve got two of them right now,” he said. “The third one is definitely in our headlights.”
Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Times