Severna Park goes distance to win title Needs 5 games to beat N.-Calvert

November 22, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

While everyone else seemed ready to hand Severna Park the state 4A volleyball championship before the season began, coach Tim Dunbar cautioned that "we still have to play the games."

The Falcons played the games. And they won.

Last night, it just took longer than usual.

Severna Park defeated Northern-Calvert in the state finals for the second straight year, 15-11, 13-15, 15-5, 5-15, 19-17 at Catonsville Community College. It was the first time all year that a Falcons' match went to five games.

"Both teams gave it away, and both teams tried to take it back," said Dunbar, whose Falcons were the top seed, and ranked No. 2 in the metro area.

Severna Park (18-0) is the first county school and the second in the 4A League, to win consecutive titles. Thomas Wootton claimed seven straight championships between 1983 and 1989.

This one won't soon be forgotten. Third-seeded Northern had leads of 14-12, 15-14 and 17-16 in the fifth game, but couldn't clinch it.

"When we were behind, 14-12, I thought the match was over," Dunbar said. "They could have won it any number of times."

Instead, it was Severna Park that took the crown, with senior Amy Patton serving the last three winners.

The first game lasted 35 minutes, and the Patriots led three times, including 11-10 on a Lisa Cline kill.

Senior Kate Marks served her third ace to move the Falcons ahead, 12-11, and two aces helped Jen Conner serve out the match.

In the second game, Northern built a 10-2 lead, before Severna Park reeled off 10 straight points with Julie Kasprzak serving. She had two aces during the sequence, and Patton had three kills.

Patton had two more kills that returned service to Severna Park.

But Northern rallied from a 13-10 deficit with sophomore Melanie Kriner serving, and any thoughts of a Falcons' sweep were over.

Much of Severna Park's problem centered on an area long considered one of its strengths -- setting.

Dunbar replaced senior setter Jaime Pirotte, who injured her left ankle in the state semifinal win over Richard Montgomery, with junior Susan Wren during the second game, when the Falcons trailed, 8-2.

Northern scored the first two points of the third game. But with Pirotte back in the lineup and setting better, the Falcons posted their most lopsided win of the match.

Patton, Kasprzak, Conner and Catherine Kirk each did some damage at the net, and junior Nikki Godfrey came off the bench to serve the last two points, including an ace. A dink from Conner ended the game.

Northern took leads of 2-0 and 12-2 in the fourth game en route to a lopsided decision.

"We didn't play our best," Conner said, "but we played our hardest."

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