GAITHERSBURG -- It took one hour for Severna Park's top-seeded volleyball team (18-0) to finish fourth seed Laurel, 15-2, 15-3, 15-11, in last night's Class 4A state volleyball )R semifinal at Watkins Mill High School.
Severna Park, which plays for the championship against No. 3-seeded Northern (17-0) of Calvert County at Catsonville Community College Saturday, was too powerful for the Spartans (14-3) -- even though coach Tim Dunbar insists his Falcons were playing flatly.
But Dunbar made it sound as if all the Falcons had to do to win was get the ball over the net.
"We served very well and they were making a lot of mistakes," said Dunbar, whose Falcons took five games to beat the Spartans in a regular-season match. "We have improved a whole lot since the last time we played them. We ran an offense much better."
The Falcons' heavy hitters were 5-foot-9 senior April Kaiser (11 kills) and 5-7 senior Cassandra Melton (eight kills). Senior Kate Marks and sophomore Jen Conner had four kills each and Catherine Kirk had two blocks.
The first game lasted 10 minutes, with Kaiser serving for the final 10 points with two aces. The second game, which took 15 minutes, was tied at 1 when Kirk, a senior, served for the next six VTC points with one ace, staking the Falcons to a 7-1 lead.
An ace from Kaiser made it 10-2, and junior Lori Sharpless served for a 14-2 lead with two aces. Jen Conner's block was the game-winning point.
The Falcons trailed, 9-7, in the final game, but Conner and Marks sandwiched their kills around three Spartans errors to give Severna Park the lead for good, 12-9.
The Falcons made it 14-11, with Sharpless' twin sister Suzi serving, and Kaiser's unreturned serve sealed a championship game berth against Northern.
Northern, last year's Class 3A champ, raised its winning streak to 35 matches with its five-game victory over No. 2 Quince Orchard (16-1) in the earlier semifinal.