INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, the Bethesda Patriots volleyball team beat an overmatched Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) team in sectionals.
This year, the match between the two schools was much closer.
Despite an impressive showing in the fourth set with their season on the line, the Patriots lost to the Orioles last Thursday in five sets; 25-21, 12-25, 15-25, 25-23, and 5-15.
“The girls have a lot of fire and a desire to win,” Bethesda coach Marissa Sharbaugh said. “We came out and did our best tonight. I don’t think any of the girls quit and we kept pushing forward. It just didn’t go our way.”
Bethesdacould not find consistent play throughout the match, hurting its chances to advance.
In the first set, the Patriots were down early but came back to take the set, scoring seven straight points at one point.
However, the following two sets were dominated by the Orioles.
In the second set, ISD scored seven straight points to build a commanding lead and easily won the set.
The Orioles didn’t have an impressive streak like that in the third set, but were in control throughout.
It was in the fourth set where the Patriots started to come alive again.
They scored the first points of the set for the first time all match and after the Orioles came back to take the lead at 23-22, the Patriots scored the final three points to take the set.
“We played hard and with our middle hitter being hurt, it was just great to push through adversity and push them to five sets,” senior Olivia Harrison said.
In the final frame, Bethesda seemed to run out of gas.
The Orioles jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never looked back, ending the Patriots’ season.
“We were fighting sickness and quite a few injuries tonight, you can see our crutches on the bench,” Sharbaugh said. “We just did the best with what we had left.”
For Harrison, it was a tough way to end her career, but she will always cherish the memories.
“My favorite moment was last year beating this same team, and they’ve come a long way since last year,” Harrison said. “I’m really going to miss the people. I got so close to so many people and they are like my sisters.”
Even though the Patriots didn’t finish the way they wanted to, Bethesda has a lot of potential when one looks at next season.
“Losing just one senior, we have a great starting point for next year,” Sharbaugh said. “We look great and I can’t wait to get started next season. It’s just unfortunate that we had to end so early this year.”