Now comes the hard part for Dulaney. The No. 1 Lions won their second consecutive Baltimore County volleyball championship with a sweep of 13th-ranked Hereford, 25-16, 25-12 and 25-14 in Timonium Monday evening.
Senior outside hitter Darla Svoboda had 17 kills for Dulaney and Milan Amos finished with eight kills. Senior libero Melaney Nicholls contributed three serving aces and 14 digs.
The Lions (15-0 overall) led to wire-to-wire, completing a perfect run through Baltimore County. Dulaney didn’t drop a single game.
“It feels amazing. We all worked really hard to win this,” said Darla Svoboda, whose school claimed its sixth league crown since 2000. “We want to go really far this year.”
The Lions, who reached the Class 4A North Region finals last year, are completely healthy with the recent return of Amos from an ACL injury earlier in the year. Amos was a consensus all-league performer in 2012.
“We’re more unite than we were last year,” said Amos, one of eight seniors on Dulaney’s roster.
The Lions established an 8-2 advantage in the first set as Amos posted one of her four kills in the set. Her block gave Dulaney its largest lead in the set at 21-12.
Dulaney surged out to a commanding 15-4 lead in the second set after back-to-back kill blocks by Darla Svoboda and senior Erin Briggs. Darla Svoboda closed the set with a kill.
It was much of the same in the final set as Mallory Svoboda’s shot landed on the back line for an 11-3 advantage. The Bulls (14-2), who lost to Dulaney, 25-12, 25-16 and 25-15 during the regular season, got no closer than seven.
“We played OK, but we got to do better in floor coverage, we got to do better in our passing,” said Hereford coach Dave Schreiner. “You got to have weapons against Dulaney. Their outsides [hitters] are tough.”
Darla Svoboda added four aces while Mallory Svoboda and Briggs each finished with three kill blocks. The Lions haven’t lost to county opponent since the 2011 league finals to Towson.
Dulaney has the No. 1 overall in the 4A North Region playoffs. If the bracket holds serve, the Lions will face either No. 5 Howard or two-time defending state champ Sherwood from Montgomery County next weekend.
Other than Arundel Tournament (finished second to Arundel), Dulaney hasn’t been challenged this fall. Lions coach Cary Lyon is excited to have his entire roster intact.
“We’re not going to beat ourselves,” said Lyon. “This year, they’re playing for each other and that’s all you want as a coach.”
Baltimore County volleyball champions (since 2000)
2013 – Dulaney
2012 – Dulaney
2011 – Towson
2010 – Towson
2009 – Towson
2008 – Towson
2007 – Dulaney
2006 – Dulaney
2005 – Dulaney
2004 – Towson
2003 – Towson
2002 – Towson
2001 – Towson
2000 – DulaneyVID