A barrage of aces and kill shots by South River made Forest Park's stay in the playoffs short, as the host Seahawks swept the Foresters, 15-5, 15-2, 15-2, in the Class 2A East regional playoffs yesterday.
Third seed Forest Park was sent packing in less than an hour by the second-seeded Seahawks, who will play in the regional final tomorrow against the winner of the game between top seed Northwestern and fourth seed Northeast.
South River features one of the area's best hitters in senior Pam Patterson, who added seven kills and five aces to her season totals, but the Seahawks' top performer turned out to be sophomore Mary Beth Duvall. Duvall gave her team early leads in every game, serving 13 aces and adding six kills.
"Serves won it for us tonight," Seahawks coach Melissa Diehlmann said. "We weren't sure what to expect going into tonight's game, but Mary Beth's serving really gave us some room to breathe."
Duvall got things started for the Seahawks in Game 1. After a tap point by Patterson gave South River a 1-0 lead, Duvall served seven straight aces for an 8-0 lead. The Foresters got as close as 8-3, but Patterson stepped up with two aces to help her team to a 15-5 win.
"This team has really improved this season," Patterson said. "We had some people step up tonight that are going to have to if we're going to get further in the playoffs. I like seeing us play this way."
In Game 2, the Seahawks went up 11-0. Stacey Thomas was the big server, notching two aces and repeatedly putting Forest Park into a defensive mode. Patterson scored two of her kills during one eight-point run, as the Seahawks took the game, 15-2.
Duvall put away any ideas the Foresters had for a comeback when she started Game 3 with three more aces. Duvall has taken an active role in the success of her team, a position she apparently enjoys.
"It's a lot of pressure, but I don't mind it," Duvall said. "It was fun playing the way we did. We could use some work on our defense, but we've played good defense before and I think we will again."