No. 4 Severna Park swept out of East

November 12, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

For a change, the shoe was on the other foot. And the Class 4A East Region championship was in another team's possession.

Swept for only the second time in nine years in a best-of-five

match, No. 4 Severna Park became the latest victim of undefeated Northern-Calvert, losing 15-4, 15-10, 15-6 in the regional final at Meade.

The Patriots (23-0) advance to the state semifinals at Watkins Mill for the fourth time in five years. They won the 3A title in 1990 and were beaten by Severna Park in the 4A final the next two seasons.

Last year, they were eliminated in the region final by Severna Park, which went on to its third consecutive state championship.

"This means a lot to us, of course," said Northern coach Cheryl Lord. "This has been quite a rivalry."

What got the Patriots over the hump this time? Their hitting, setting, serving, and experience -- four areas where Severna Park couldn't compete.

"We came out as tight as a drum, and then they beat us like one," said coach Tim Dunbar, who had to replace six starters lost to graduation, then led the Falcons to 20 victories. "This was pretty clear-cut who the better team was."

Northern senior Kelly Shipman (26 assists) fed the ball to an array of gifted hitters last night. Senior Lisa Cline pounded out 16 kills, including seven in the last game. Junior Joanne Marshall had eight kills, and senior Taryn McDonald added four.

Severna Park's most productive hitter was junior Julie Allen with six kills. She also was one of the few players who served well, going 10-for-10. Sophomore Danielle Kaegel was 11-for-12 with three aces.

The Falcons missed six serves in the second game and seven in the third. "And we didn't serve much in the first one," Dunbar said.

"We knew if we were going to win, we had to play the toughest we've ever played before," said Severna Park junior Lauren Butler (three kills). "That just didn't happen."

Northern led throughout the first game, which began with junior Jackie Canning serving six consecutive winners. It ended with a block by Cline, who was a menace at the net all evening.

Two aces from sophomore Jodi Blair helped Severna Park jump out to a 4-0 lead in the second game, before the Northern hitters cranked it up again. Cline, Marshall, McDonald and Melanie Kriner sprayed kills all over the floor, and an ace from Shipman put the Patriots within a game of a sweep -- the first against Severna Park since Glen Burnie ended its 87-match winning streak in 1990.

"We finally started getting in a groove and gave them a run for their money," Dunbar said. "I was glad to see that. You're the three-time defending state champions and you're not going to give up easily. I'm glad to see my kids didn't just roll over and

die. They could have."

They put up more resistance in the third game than the score indicates. The teams spent much of the time trading serves before Cline bunched together three kills that moved Northern ahead, 13-3. An ace from Shipman ended Severna Park's season.

The Falcons will lose just one starter to graduation -- hitter/setter Melissa Snyder -- so many of them already were looking toward next year, and perhaps scripting a more familiar conclusion than last night's disappointment. "This feels awkward," Butler said, "but there's always next year. We'll keep trying."

* Stephen Decatur 3, Northeast 2: Stephen Decatur won the final two games to defeat Northeast, 15-8, 14-16, 7-15, 15-10, 15-6 in the Class 2A East Region finals at North Caroline. Kelly Siemek was 19-for-19 serving with four aces and 14 assists for the Eagles (9-7).

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