Lady Jags Win Thrilling Semi-Final Match to Defeat Defending State Champs
Sometimes teams win because of experience, and sometimes because of athleticism. The best teams will have a combination of both. That is what the 19-0 Northwest Jags used on Wednesday night to defeat 23-1 Severna Park Falcons in four games, 20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 26-24 to earn a spot a second straight spot in the 4A state championship game.
However, the victory did not come easy.
After dropping the first game, the Lady Jags were up two games to one, at the Ritchie Coliseum in College Park and they were leading the fourth game by three points, but Severna Park had come back after trailing by as many as 11 points. Northwest Head Coach Stephanie Blake could see momentum building for the defending state champs and called a timeout.
Northwest fans could feel the match slipping away from the Lady Jags, who were defeated by Severna Park in that same building in the 4A championship game last season. The Falcons had won 37 straight matches and had not lost a match since falling the state final to Dulaney in 2013. Severna Park was storming back.
Blake knew that if the Falcons came back and won the fourth game, they would have great momentum going into a deciding fifth game. Severna Park was a dangerous team.
During that timeout, she tried to settle her team down. “I told them, ‘This is your game. You have the momentum. We control our destiny. Let them make the errors because that is what got us the win in the third set” She reminded them of all the hard work that they put into getting to the state tournament. “You have worked too hard for too long to let this happen to you in this set.”