Same county, different team.
After making the two-hour trek over the mountains and methodically dismantling North Carroll Tuesday night, Allegany figured to at least make a game of it in Thursday's Class2A Region I volleyball finals.
But Liberty's play on Thursday in no way resembled how North Carroll played Tuesday while losing to the Campers, 3-1.
The Lions setwell, blocked well and moved well on the court to sweep Allegany andmove into the state Class 2A semifinals Wednesday at Parkville High in Baltimore County.
Francis Scott Key, meanwhile, was swept by Monocacy Valley Athletic League foe Boonsboro Wednesday in the Class 1ARegion II semifinals.
* Class 2A Region I: Asked what the big difference was between North Carroll and Liberty, Allegany coach Randi Countryman paused in thought.
One of her players quickly answered, "The big girl."
The "big girl" was 6-foot-2 senior Kelly Foreman, who gives the Lions a formidable hitting and blocking presence but who also has the versatility to spike and the mobility to move to the net even when she's on the back line.
"(Foreman) coming up from theback was a big factor," said Countryman. "We have a short team."
But the Campers were short compared to North Carroll, too. Still, in that Tuesday night game, Allegany took advantage of North Carroll's bad sets and serves to score an upset victory.
That was not the case Thursday, as Liberty won 15-5, 15-7, 15-10.
"Liberty used heightto their advantage," Countryman said.
And Liberty isn't just Foreman, though she clearly was the dominant player on the court.
WhenForeman sets the ball, teammate Laura Hennessy moves up to assume defensive blocking duties. Fellow seniors Meredith McCullen and Patty Bouver, and sophomore Colin Lawlin make important contributions, too.
Liberty coach Helen Derwin said she knew she had the makings of a good team before the season started, with four key players back from last year's 10-5 team and the rest up from an undefeated junior varsity. What has helped the Lions come this far, Derwin said, is the playof the reserves.
"My bench is as strong as my starters," Derwin said.
Liberty makes its second appearance in the state tournament. In 1985, Derwin's first year as coach, Liberty advanced to the Class B (now Class 2A) tournament, but was swept in six games against threeopponents in the old round-robin format.
Now, both semifinals will be head-to-head. Liberty's opponent in Wednesday's semifinal was not to be determined until Friday night (after press time) but would beat Parkville High in Baltimore County at 4 or 6 p.m. That winner plays at noon Saturday at Catonsville Community College in Baltimore County.
Derwin and several of her players had planned to watch Fridayafternoon's Region II championship game between third-seeded Mount Hebron of Howard County and top-seeded Loch Raven of Baltimore County.
"I don't want my girls to panic because we're going to the state tournament," Derwin said. "I think that's what happened the last timewe went. I want them to feel comfortable, like it's just another game."
* Class 1A Region