Panthers outlast T. Johnson

September 21, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

This volleyball match was something like survival of the fittest.

North Carroll and Thomas Johnson punched and

counter-punched and scratched and clawed their way through a five-game marathon before the Panthers emerged with a 15-7, 16-14, 11-15, 7-15, 15-13 victory over the Patriots.

After dueling for two hours and 20 minutes at North Carroll yesterday, the Central Maryland Conference match came down to a hard Kandi Lippy serve off Erin Grimes' hands for a 14-13 North Carroll lead in the fifth game and a Katy Wilhelm kill for the winning point.

North Carroll (2-1, 2-0 in the league) could have wrapped up the match a lot sooner if it had been able to have just an average serving day.

But the Panthers had a lot of serving problems in the final four games, allowing the Patriots (0-3, 0-2) an opportunity to gain some confidence and get back into the match.

Even though North Carroll escaped with a 16-14 victory in the second game for a 2-0 lead, the momentum of the match was beginning to shift toward the Patriots.

"Serving is a problem for us," said North Carroll coach Donn'a Martin. "It's the key to every match we play."

Thomas Johnson used some impressive kills by Janie Marshall and Judy Whims to fight back to a 2-2 draw and set the stage for a fifth game.

However, Marshall and Whims both were too inconsistent all day long for the Patriots to sustain too much momentum.

Thomas Johnson coach Sue Mason said: "We started too slow and wore ourselves out trying to come back. We played much better defense than we did in our first two matches but our offense had trouble finding holes on the floor against North Carroll's 1-5 defense. When you have five players back, it's tough to find an open spot."

North Carroll got off to a 5-0 lead in the fifth game behind the serving of Wilhelm who led the winners with 23 points off her serve in the five games. The Panthers went on to a 12-7 lead before allowing TJ to rally for a 13-12 lead.

Amy Baker's dink shot tied the fifth game at 13 and then Lippy and Wilhelm came through.

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