Owls spell bad news to Liberty

October 19, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Last night, the Westminster Owls were a finely tuned volleyball machine except for a few serving glitches late in the first game.

Those serving woes cost the 12th-ranked Owls a 10-3 lead in that game and resulted in an eventual 15-11 loss of the game to unranked Liberty.

But it proved to be only a momentary lapse.

Host Westminster came right back to tear through the Lions in the next three games -- 15-6, 15-5, 15-7 -- for the victory.

The Owls (13-2) have rarely been better than they were in that three-game stretch that exposed a lot of Liberty weaknesses.

Beth Lister, Tara Haney and Tara Dorsey took turns demonstrating impressive kills against Liberty (5-5), and Mary Beth Myers and Wendy Fritz were a model of serving consistency.

Carissa Cook and Jackie Mathias also had some timely kills for the Owls, leaving the Lions frustrated in their attempts to turn the match around.

Liberty only rallied once in the final three games, recording five straight points in the third game after Westminster had bolted to a 10-0 lead.

Brandy Zimmerman accounted for those five Liberty points on her serve, reducing the lead to 10-5.

However, Myers answered Zimmerman with some excellent serves to finish off Liberty in that game.

The fourth game was all Westminster, with Lister coming through with three more kills to give her 10 for the night.

Myers had eight points on her serve in the fourth game and suddenly the match was history.

Liberty only had one big hitter last night, Ashley Davis, but the Lions were not setting her up most of the time. They also made several bad decisions on Westminster serves that were obviously heading out of bounds.

Add some poor communication to all this and Liberty found itself in serious trouble.

Westminster co-coach Michelle Salafia-Crouse said: "I feel we just had too many hitters for Liberty to overcome. We have five or six girls who can hurt teams with kills, and we served well except for that one bad stretch. We're just getting better each game."

Salafia-Crouse feels her team is peaking at the perfect time.

"There's just three matches left before the regionals, so it's a good thing we're playing well," she said.

"I certainly believe we're better than No. 12 in the area, but this will give us more incentive to play better."

Liberty coach Helen Derwin said: "We didn't do things smartly tonight. Sometimes we weren't even getting the ball to our setters to set up Ashley Davis.

"We had poor skills. I think we wanted to win too badly and forgot what our game plan was."

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