Key rallies past Owings Mills 1A North volleyball

November 12, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Francis Scott Key's volleyball players said that surviving Tuesday's five-game battle with Perryville only made them stronger.

But after losing 29 of the first 41 points in last night's Class 1A North final at No. 13 Owings Mills, Key needed to tap every ounce of that strength to pull out a come-from-behind victory.

Key rallied from a 14-7 deficit in Game 2 to post a 16-14 victory, then took two of the next three games for a 5-15, 16-14, 6-15, 15-11, 15-6 win over the top-seeded Golden Eagles to advance to the state semis for the first time since 1990.

"I think Tuesday helped us," said Key's Amber Smith. "Going five games with [Perryville] showed us we could stick it out with anybody."

Key (11-6) advances to the Class 1A state semifinals against an undetermined opponent on Thursday at Centennial High School.

But through the early stages of the match, it looked as if that would only be a pipe dream.

Owings Mills looked destined to win through the first game, serving well and getting superior net play from Jennifer Ziomek and Sheree Tilley. The Golden Eagles rolled to a 15-5 win in Game 1 and seemed to have control of Game 2, leading 14-7.

But that's when they self-destructed. After a side out, Key's Melanie Montgomery served her team to five straight points -- including four on Owings Mills mistakes -- to pull within 14-12.

After two side outs, Stephanie Stambaugh's block and Smith's service winner tied the game at 14, and Key went on to win, 16-14.

Owings Mills' poor serving and mishits played a large role in the turnaround. The Golden Eagles missed 16 serves in games 2 through 5.

"We're normally not a strong serving team, but we usually don't miss that many, either," said Owings Mills coach Lisa Meyer. "We win Game 2 and the match is all but over."

But the dramatic Game 2 win only fueled Key's engine, and after dropping Game 3, the Eagles took games 4 and 5.

"The momentum just went our way today," said Key assistant coach Alice Smith, who was filling in for head coach Leo Totten who is out of the country. "We played as a team today."

The loss denied Owings Mills its third straight regional title. But for Key, there were few words to describe the feeling of winning two straight five-game thrillers.

"I guess drained might be a good word," Smith said.

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