Severna Park squelches any thoughts of upset Volleyball

November 10, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

They haven't been numerous, but Glen Burnie has had volleyball moments to savor against Severna Park.

There was 1988, when Glen Burnie knocked Severna Park out of the regional playoffs. There was 1990, when Glen Burnie stunned the Falcons during the regular season.

"I'm a firm believer in the old NFL adage, that on any given Sunday, any team can win," Glen Burnie coach Juanita Milani said. "The same in volleyball -- on any given night . . . "

Last night, however, was not one of those nights. Top-seeded Severna Park, unbeaten at 15-0 and No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun poll, rolled past fourth-seeded Glen Burnie, 15-3, 15-5, 15-10, into the Class 4A East final. The Falcons will entertain the winner of the Calvert vs. Northern-Calvert game on Friday at 7 p.m.

Milani has been coaching Glen Burnie for 16 years. She enjoys the rivalry with Severna Park, although she suspects that sometimes her teams are intimidated.

"Just watching them warm up can be intimidating," said Milani, whose team lost to Severna Park, 15-3, 15-2, 15-6, on Oct. 10. "They pretty much dominated that first time we played. They're excellent. They look like a video on volleyball, with their passing, getting the ball to the hitters and knowing how to put it away."

As No. 11 Glen Burnie finished with an 11-6 record, Milani saw little last night to prompt her to change her mind about Severna Park.

"They were their usual," Milani said. "They weren't as sharp as I've seen them and I've never seen them miss so many serves, but we didn't capitalize. We simply don't match up man for man with their hitters."

At the outset, Glen Burnie took a 2-0 lead with captain Heather Hutson serving, but quickly fell behind and stayed there. The Gophers rallied to pull within 11-9 in the third game, but Severna Park's Susan Wren wrapped up the match with her fourth ace of the night.

"We were really sloppy," coach Tim Dunbar said. "We had flashes of brilliance, and our defense was quick, but we missed a lot of serves early.

"Maybe we looked past them. Could be. That would be silly, considering the quality of Glen Burnie's players. We let them hang onto us a long time."

Julie Kasprzak led Severna Park with 18 kills. Jen Conner added 11.

Wren had 32 assists, and she, Kasprzak and Cara Voegtlin served four aces each.

The Falcons took another step toward their third straight state championship, but Dunbar wouldn't look past Friday. The state semifinals are a week from tonight at Watkins Mill-Montgomery, with the final scheduled Nov. 20 at Catonsville Community College.

"The states are a long way away," Dunbar said. "If you look past anyone at this stage, you're dead. I don't want the kids looking past anybody."

That said, Dunbar conceded that the current team is better than his previous two state champions.

So, how good is Dunbar's team in his seventh year as head coach?

"Good, good enough to win it all," he said. "But that doesn't mean we'll do better than we did the last two years."

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