It’s no secret that many of the players on the Severna Park volleyball team have one common goal this season.
They want to beat Arundel.
The Falcons stormed through the regular season last year, but then lost to Arundel three times—once during the season, once in the county championship and again during the playoffs in the region final. The team's only other loss last year came to South River.
“Especially with Arundel we struggled with finishing off the games,” said senior and captain Kara Glynn. ”We would play really well first and second game, and then when it comes to the end of the third, we have trouble finishing it off. So I think it is about consistency this year.”
This year’s team looks a lot different than last year's for the Falcons. In 2012, Severna Park returned pretty much all of its starters, and had a team full of seniors, many of whom had played together for years.
This year the team is young—just three seniors total. But head coach Tim Dunbar said what they lack in returning players, they make up for in talent.
“Even though we lost all those seniors we still have a lot of talent that came back,” Dunbar said. “It’s a youth movement in a sense, but at the same time there is enough senior leadership that keeps it all flowing nicely.”
While the girls may have their eyes on key matchups against Arundel (Oct. 14) and rival Broadneck (Oct. 3), Dunbar said he looks at the season more as whole, and not just particular matches.
What’s going to carry the Falcons through the season is their bench, Dunbar said. This year’s squad carries 14 girls, which is a higher number than usual. Dunbar said he kept more girls because several of them do one or two skill sets exceptionally well.
“The team is deep in the sense that there’s not a tremendous difference between the sixth kid on the court and the eighth kid on the bench,” Dunbar said. “They're not interchangeable parts, but there is a lot of flexibility there.”
The team is off to a strong start. The Falcons swept Harford County foe Fallston in three games last week, and enter county play on Wednesday at Chesapeake.
Senior and captain Lauren Kirchenheiter said it’s all about getting the team to work together, and back into a steady rhythm.
“We are really working on getting back in the rhythm because we have had the same team for the past two years and now we are young,” Kirchenheiter said. “We are trying to get that rhythm down. But I think individually we all have a lot to contribute.”