Loyola Blakefield had navigated the MIAA A Conference volleyball regular season with a 7-1 conference record and nailed down the top seed for the conference playoffs, which get underway Wednesday, with an impressive 3-1 win over rival Gilman, on Friday.
On Monday, however, in a post-season tuneup, the Dons (12-2 overall) were knocked off on the road in Brooklandville, against the top gun in the MIAA B Conference – St. Paul’s.
Behind an amazing 46 kills from setter Tanner Brooks, St. Paul’s upended the Dons in five sets – 21-25, 17-25, 28-26, 25-18 and 15-12.
Middle hitter Mac Hall also had big match for the Crusaders, hitting .500 and producing 11 kills, while libero Brock Reich and outside hitter Rob Maddux led the passing (2.3) and combined for 21 digs. Maddux also won 100% of his serves, while Connar Norris converted 93% of his.
St. Paul’s, now 13-2 overall, went 8-0 in the B Conference to earn its top seed. It will begin the defense of the title it won last fall on Wednesday when it hosts Archbishop Curley in a semifinal. The other B Conference semifinal will feature Annapolis Area Christian at Boys’ Latin.
Loyola will move on to its first round playoff match, at home on Wednesday, against Mount St. Joseph. The other A Conference semifinal will see Gilman travel to defending champion Calvert Hall, also Wednesday.
The MIAA Volleyball Championships will take place on Friday at Boys’ Latin. The B Conference final will get underway at 6:00 p.m., followed by the A Conference at 8:00 p..m.