C. Spring rolls over O. Mills

November 18, 1992|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Once the Clear Spring volleyball team got started, Owings Mills was finished.

Third-seeded Clear Spring rebounded from a slow start to score the final nine points of the first game for a 15-9 victory. The Blazers then finished off their sweep of second-seeded Owings Mills with victories of 15-4 and 15-3 in the Class 1A state semifinal at Centennial High last night.

Clear Spring (16-1) advances to the Class 1A state final for the first time on Saturday at Catonsville Community College. The Blazers meet fourth-seeded and defending state champion Williamsport (15-2) at 2:30 p.m.

Williamsport swept top-seeded Perryville (14-2), 15-4, 15-10, 15-11.

Owings Mills (15-3), which also lost in the state semifinals last year, took control early. The Golden Eagles jumped to a 9-6 lead, and Clear Spring appeared to be struggling.

Suddenly, it all came together for the Blazers. Helped by the strong serving of Brenda Mills (17-for-19, seven aces) and the mistakes of Owings Mills, Clear Spring reeled off eight straight points for a 14-6 lead.

The first four points in that run came courtesy of Owings Mills miscues. After the eight-point stretch, the Blazers closed out the match a little later on another Owings Mills error.

Both teams agreed that the eight-point run shifted the momentum to Clear Spring.

"We started off very slowly," said Clear Spring coach Lisa Shives. "I think it was more or less jitters."

Owings Mills struggled the rest of the match with Clear Spring serves. The Golden Eagles had trouble returning the serves and setting up a passing game.

In addition, Owings Mills found serving difficult. The Golden Eagles never got in the groove serving or passing, and it cost them.

"Passing and serving are our two biggest strengths," said Owings Mills coach Lisa Meyer, whose team was swept for the first time this season. "Unfortunately, they were our two biggest downfalls this evening."

Games two and three were never close. The Blazers jumped to an 8-1 lead in the second game and a 13-1 lead in the third game and coasted both times.

Serving and power at the net paced Clear Spring. Mills and Krista Hoffman each served during long runs for the Blazers, who made few poor serves.

Clear Spring ruled play at the net. Danelle Clopper had eight kills and four blocks. Heather Alshire finished with seven kills and two blocks. Allison Krines had four kills and 13 assists, and Hoffman added nine assists to her four kills.

"We haven't dealt with that kind of hitting that consistently," said Andrea Levy of Owings Mills.

Kathrin Koenig of Owings Mills finished her season of stellar serving with a 9-for-9 effort. For the season, she was 330-for-331, the lone miss coming in the Golden Eagles' next-to-last regular-season match against Sparrows Point.

Koenig said her team simply did what it has shown a tendency to do at times -- start fast, then fizzle. And Clear Spring used its power to help the downhill slide.

"We have a habit of coming out fired up and then bombing out," said Koenig. "We've dealt with [teams that] block, but not that consistently."

Owings Mills' problems with blocking also helped Clear Spring. The Golden Eagles' defensive posture opened up the court for the Blazers.

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