N. Caroline's serves baffle South River Bulldogs rally to take region title in four games

November 12, 1995|By Pete Jones | Pete Jones,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DENTON -- Sparked by a rally from a 7-0 deficit in the second game, the North Caroline High Bulldogs won the Class 2A East Region Championship, 15-7, 15-12, 9-15, 15-7, over visiting South River yesterday.

North Caroline (18-0) moves on to meet another regional champion on Tuesday at Catonsville High School in the Class 2A state semifinals. It was the ninth consecutive regional championship for the Bulldogs and first in Class 2A since 1992.

South River's Seahawks finish their season with a 13-3 record.

"We kept them on the defensive and shut down their big hitter [Marybeth DuVall]," said North Caroline coach Margie Knight. "It was a well-played match on both sides."

DuVall was limited to just five kills by the Bulldogs and she made seven hitting errors. But tall left-hander Kim Thomas picked up the slack and led the Seahawks with 11 kills. North Caroline's Stacy Seward led all players with 12 kills.

The key to the match was serving as Caroline ran up 15 aces

and South River had trouble receiving.

"We couldn't control North Caroline's serves," said Seahawks coach Maureen Carter. "They served very hard and that took us out of our game."

In an emotional second game, Beth Salley opened by serving the Seahawks to a 4-0 lead and Robin Catterton extended that to 7-0 with a 3-0 serving run. But the Bulldogs chipped away, sparked by two consecutive dinks by Andrea Jarrell, who came off the bench. They ran off the next eight points to take an 8-7 lead. Later, a kill by Seward, off an assist by Alison Hayman (17 assists), gave North Caroline the lead for good at 13-12.

During the break after the second game, South River looked emotionally drained but Carter re-focused their efforts. "I told them they'd come too far to lose it that way," Carter said. "We had the second game 7-0 but our serve receiving was poor."

The Seahawks responded and won the third game in dominating fashion, as Salley served two aces, hit three kills and Thomas hit five.

In the clinching fourth game, North Caroline jumped out to a 9-0 lead as Natalie Nier and Pam Saulsbury each went on serving runs. Saulsbury led all players with seven aces.

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