Hereford outlasts No. 6 Dulaney for Baltimore County volleyball championship; May posts 25 kills (VIDEO HERE!)

Maggie May came up huge for Hereford Wednesday night. The senior hitter finished with 25 kills as the 13th-ranked Bulls captured the Baltimore County volleyball crown with a five-set decision over No. 6 Dulaney.

by Nelson Coffin

In terms of momentum swings, No. 13 Hereford High took a circuitous route in the Baltimore County volleyball championship match while beating sixth-ranked Dulaney 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 17-25, 15-9 Wednesday night in Timonium.
The Bulls (11-3 overall) roared out of the gate in the first set, never led until jumping ahead, 24-23, in the second set, fell behind early in the third set, were walloped in the fourth set and then made a complete turnaround in the final set to take the 3-2 verdict.
Both of Hereford’s outstanding outside hitters, senior Maggie May and sophomore Cindy Parker, had monster games as did junior setter Emma Clark.
May had 25 kills, Clark added 30 assists and Parker all but clinched the fifth set with a sterling performance from the service line that included five aces and lifted the Bulls to a 7-0 advantage.
“We were getting really tired,” said Parker, who finished with seven kills on her big night. “I figured if I could the serve over (the net), everybody else could do their part.”
In that set, Hereford also got a great dig from junior libero Autumn Welsh on a play that May finished with a kill to make it, 9-2.
They went up, 12-4, on a terrific cross-court kill by Parker, assisted by Clark from her knees.
It was those kind of plays that made the mountain too high for the Lions to climb.
“It was an amazing set by Emma,” Parker said. “I knew that I just had to finish it.”
But it was Parker’s serving that really turned the tide against the Lions (12-3).
“When you’re in the fifth set, you have to get off to a quick start,” Hereford coach Dave Schreiner said. “getting that 7-0 lead was key. Once we had that, we just had to keep the ball in play and try not to make mistakes.”
The opening set was similar to the final set in that the Bulls jumped out to a 6-0 lead with Parker at the service line contributing three aces.
Sophomore middle hitter Shelby Jones had a block and a kill during the run and May had a kill as well.
Parker climaxed a rally in the second set with a kill to give Hereford a commanding 2-0 lead that didn’t last very long.
The Lions slowly turned the momentum their way in the third set, pulling away late on a couple of aces by sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker Lis Liu and dinks by senior setters Kathryn Parler and Rose Vail, who also added one of her team-best 12 kills during the pivotal 5-0 run.
With momentum clearly behind them, the hosts bolted to a 16-7 lead in the fourth set after snapping a 5-5 tie as fatigue and incessant pressure by Dulaney took its toll. A couple of bad hits put the Bulls behind before a kill by Dulaney senior middle blocker Nancy Slaughter and an ace by Rose put the Lions ahead for good.
“I think we were getting tired mentally,” Schreiner said. “And it was showing up physically. We started making mistakes. I told the kids they just had to go after everything.”
Dulaney coach Cary Lyon, whose team swept Hereford during the regular season, said that he changed the lineup in the middle sets to claw back into the match before his former club player, Parker, served him a defeat.
“It was very frustrating,” Lyon said. “It was a topspin serve that should have been easy to pass. We should have been able to get that ball up in the air.”
Other notable Dulaney contributors were Liu, who chipped in with a dozen kills, and Parker, who had 32 assists in the loss.