Severna Park volleyball coach Tim Dunbar said in the preseason, "If somebody's going to get us, they'll have to do it this year." Yesterday, Dunbar's Falcons were gotten -- and the somebody was Glen Burnie.
The visiting and senior-laden Gophers thoroughly exploited Severna Park's youth in a 15-5, 15-3, 15-6 victory that ended the state's longest regular-season winning streak in any sport at 87 games.
There were no "ifs" in an overwhelming triumph that left little doubt the volleyball torch has passed, at least for the moment, in Anne Arundel County.
"It's about time somebody beat them in the regular season," said Stacey Gilligan, whose 12-for-12 serving was the key to a game VTC plan of putting the ball in play -- and keeping it there -- until the inexperienced Falcons made mistakes.
Dunbar said, "Glen Burnie kept putting the ball back, and our mistakes were magnified. Experience was the primary thing."
Glen Burnie (8-0 league, 12-0) started six seniors. The Falcons (5-1, 11-1) had a freshman, three sophomores and one junior in addition to senior captain Kim Aller.
"We knew we had been together three years and had experience, and they [Severna Park] were young," said Gilligan, who added six kills. "This is our year -- we've been waiting for this since we were freshmen -- and we went ahead and did it."
Backing Gilligan were Linda Fannin, Mandy Albrecht and Christy Hutson (nine kills, nine blocks), who combined for 40 of 45 serves. Severna Park placed only 75 percent of its serves.
"We knew they would have problems with our serves," said Gophers coach Juanita Murdoch-Milani. "We wanted to get our serves in low and to key positions. We knew coming in who [on Severna Park] would have a tough time with them.
"We had to overcome the legend. I had problems sleeping last night -- I was a wreck -- but the girls came through for me."