S. River leads, then fizzles in semis Volleyball

November 11, 1992|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

POMFRET -- South River volleyball coach Melissa Diehlmann has experienced warmer welcomings on previous visits to her alma mater, McDonough of Charles County.

Yesterday, however, Diehlmann and her Seahawks were treated like unwelcome guests and were turned away by the Rams, 15-10, 15-6, 13-15, 15-8, in the Class 3A, Region IV semifinals.

"I was really nervous about coming in here again and it felt really weird walking into the gym," said Diehlmann, a 1986 graduate of McDonough. "It probably would have given me a really big thrill to come in here and win but. . ."

The third-seed Seahawks (11-5) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first game, but lost ground as quickly as they gained it, allowing the hosts to build a 13-6 lead en route to a 15-10 victory.

Behind the powerful net play of 5-foot-10 senior Denitra Hayes and the serving of Shannon Coombs, No. 2 seed McDonough (14-2) went on a seven-point run in the second game to take a 14-5 lead. Hayes, who registered 26 kills in the match, finished off the Seahawks with a thunderous spike to give the Rams a 2-0 advantage in games.

"I've never seen a girl jump like that in high school," Diehlmann said of Hayes. "Severna Park is definitely a top-rated school, but they don't have a hitter who can hit like that. She gets up so high she puts the ball inside the 10-foot line and I've never

seen a high school player do that."

South appeared a team destined to lose three straight games, but 6-foot senior Pam Patterson (15 kills) wouldn't let it happen. The Seahawks fought their way back from 11-4 and 13-8 deficits to take the third game. Patterson served the last two points of the game, but it was junior Stacey Thomas (four digs, four kills) whose service got the Seahawks back in contention. Thomas served five straight points with two aces to bring her team back to within a point, 13-12.

South River opened up a 4-0 lead in the fourth game but lost focus, and ultimately the game, 15-8.

"We started the fourth game off strong, but then we just fizzled away," said Diehlmann, whose team opened the season with eight straight victories. "We just need to learn how to stay mentally focused when the other team is playing so well. As soon as they started gaining momentum, our girls started falling apart."

McDonough coach Lesley Cooke, who served as Diehlmann's mentor for four years, attributed her team's lackluster performance in the fourth game to an inspired effort by the visitors and a lack of defense on the part of her Rams.

"I think South River picked it up a notch in the third game," said Cooke. "They seemed to be sending everything back to No. 12 [Patterson] and she was pretty effective. We tried to block her, but we were very ineffective. We play a much more defensive game than we played today."

Arundel schools in state playoffs

Boys soccer State semifinals (2) Northwestern vs. (3) North County at Arundel, Friday, 5

Girls soccer State semifinals (1) Severna Park vs. Centennial (4) at TBA, Saturday, 7:30

Catholic League Tournament A Division championship St. Mary's at John Carroll, tomorrow, 5

Field hockey State finals Severna Park vs Westminster at Goucher College, Saturday, 2

Football State quarterfinals (6) Friendly (8-2) at (3) Annapolis (9-1), Friday, 7:30

(5) North County (9-1) vs. (4) Perry Hall (9-1) at Dundalk CC, Saturday, 1

Volleyball State regional quarterfinals (4) Edmondson at (1) Severna Park, today, 7

(3) Old Mill at (2) Broadneck, today, 7

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