Severna Park serves up victory

October 12, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatk | Roch Eric Kubatk,Sun Staff Writer

On paper, the wrong team won.

No. 2 Glen Burnie, with its experience, consistent setting and powerful hitters, was supposed to continue its rampage through the county yesterday at the expense of No. 5 Severna Park.

Or so it seemed.

The Falcons had a different plan in mind, using superior serving and the hitting of juniors Lauren Butler and Julie Allen to hold off the visiting Gophers, 15-10, 15-10, 5-15, 11-15, 15-7.

"That's why you play the games on hardwood," said Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar.

Severna Park's play at the service line made all the difference. Sophomore Jodi Blair went 32-for-33 with seven aces, including five in the second game. Allen was 19-for-22 with four aces, and she served nine straight winners in the fifth game to build on a 5-4 lead.

"They almost served us out of the gym," said Glen Burnie coach Juanita Milani.

Allen and Butler each had 15 kills, as Severna Park improved its record to 13-2, including last weekend's North Caroline tournament.

Its only loss in a best-of-five match this season came against Broadneck, 3-2, on Sept. 30.

Senior middle hitter Sherri Patton, making her first start, had seven kills.

"It all boiled down to getting our serves in and making passes on serves received. When we were doing that, we looked great, better than we have all year," said Dunbar, whose team took a 7-0 lead in the first game.

An ace by sophomore Danielle Kaegel closed the second game, when it appeared that Severna Park would make short work of the Gophers.

But senior Heather Hutson almost single-handedly pulled Glen Burnie (8-1) back into contention with seven kills in the third game and six in the fourth.

Those six kills came after Severna Park had built an 11-9 lead. She finished with 21 kills and 17 assists, and went 21-for-21 serving with three aces, even though she missed practice Monday because of an illness.

"She's our bread and butter," Milani said. "When we go to her, it's a sure thing."

Sophomore Amy Hutson served six winners in a row in the third game to break a 4-4 tie, and four straight in the fourth to put the Gophers ahead, 12-11.

She finished 23-for-24 with one ace, and added six kills and 22 assists.

It almost was enough to erase a poor start, when the Gophers were playing so flat that Milani gathered them after the second game and said, "I'm bored out of my mind. When are you guys going to start playing volleyball?"

Even if Glen Burnie appeared to be the favorite yesterday, Milani wasn't buying it.

"I never count them out," she said of the Falcons, who graduated all six starters from last season.

"A lot of Severna Park is just the awe of Severna Park. They have a reputation that's worth five points a game. I never take them for granted."

The Gophers hadn't lost a game in eight previous matches before yesterday.

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