Perry Hall's hopes spiked in hurry by Northern-Calvert

November 18, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

GAITHERSBURG -- Perry Hall's first visit to the state volleyball playoffs didn't last long.

An hour after the opening introductions, the second-seeded Gators sat in a far corner of the Watkins Mill High gymnasium and fought back the tears.

They were ushered out quickly by third seed Northern-Calvert, 15-6, 15-12, 15-7, yesterday in the 4A semifinals.

Northern (16-1) advances to Saturday's 7:30 p.m. final at Catonsville Community College against top seed Severna Park, the defending state 4A champion.

Led by 5-foot-11 hitter Kristin Kruse, Northern reached the state 4A final last year before losing to Severna Park in four games. Kruse graduated, and the Patriots brought just one senior into yesterday's match. But they haven't missed a beat.

"I think the fact [Northern] was here last year made a difference. A lack of experience at this level hurt us," said Gators coach Pam Wilt.

"But that's not to take anything away from them. They have an outstanding program. They pass well, they serve well, they have a great setter and they hit well."

It added up to a victory.

"I scouted Perry Hall last week, and when I do that, the girls will ask me who I'd compare them to. This time, I said, 'They're very much like you,' " said Northern coach Cheryl Lord.

"Size-wise, we were very similar. The type of offense they run is similar."

That didn't make for an even match, however.

Northern was most impressive in the opening game. Perry Hall (16-2) scored the first point with Patricia Ysern serving, but little else went right.

Patriots sophomore Lisa Cline had five kills in the first game, and she served the last three points.

Northern took a 6-1 lead in the second game before the Gators fought back behind the hitting and serving of Tracy Morgan. They went ahead 7-6 on an ace by Lori Johnson, but couldn't sustain the momentum.

Johnson finished the match with eight kills, and Morgan had six kills and three aces.

"We'd get going, and then we'd go back to the type of play I hadn't seen all season," Wilt said.

Perry Hall led once in the third game, 2-1, on a kill by Tricia Daubert. The Gators were behind 9-2 when Jaime Jansen served five straight winners to reduce the deficit to 9-7. But Perry Hall didn't score any more points.

"They've got a nice team," Wilt said of Northern. "They deserve to move on."

Lord said: "We're pleased to be going back to the finals. Our goal all year was to play the best volleyball we could and take it one match at a time. And however far as it takes us, it takes us."

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