Francis Scott Key coach Leo Totten said he did not worry when his team fell seven points behind North Carroll at the start of the championship match in the Carroll County Volleyball Tournament.
"They expect to win," said Totten. "I think they really think they're going to win, no matter what."
And that's just what the host Eagles did. Stephanie Stambaugh and Cindy Sheedy helped No. 5 Francis Scott Key dominate play at the net and repeat as county champion with a 15-12, 15-6 victory over No. 10 North Carroll in the best-of-three match yesterday.
South Carroll and Westminster tied for third in the tournament. Liberty pulled out Thursday because of a conflict with its homecoming activities, causing a last-minute revamping of the schedule and making it a one-day (instead of two-day) tournament.
North Carroll, which lost both games to Key in a first-round tournament match and also fell in last year's final with Key, jumped to a 9-2 lead in the opening game. The flying serves of Lisa Beverly helped the Panthers score the first four points, while Karen Carter and others forced the Eagles into some early mistakes.
Francis Scott Key then began nibbling away at the lead. Ayrika Frock served three straight to make it 9-5. Stambaugh (eight kills in final and 27 overall) later came up with back-to-back kills -- including one that sliced through three North Carroll defenders at the net -- to make it 10-8.
Trailing 11-8, Stambaugh served two points. Tammy Wilson then served two more for a 12-11 Key lead. After the Panthers tied it, Frock served out the game, capped by a kill from Nicole Keffer.
"We don't get rattled," said Stambaugh. "We wanted to sweep them because they beat us twice [in a recent match when Key rallied for a 3-2 victory]."
The Eagles fell behind again in game 2, as Beverly's serves helped the Panthers take a 4-1 lead. But Totten inserted Na'Tasha Brooks to serve, and the senior sparked a nine-point run that gave the Eagles command of the game and the match.
Key controlled play at the net with pinpoint passing. Sparked by setter Erin Ness (nine assists in final and 40 overall), the Eagles often found Stambaugh, Sheedy (13 kills and 23 service points), Keffer (five kills in final), Heather Abel, Cassie Gilmore and others.
North Carroll worked well, but came up a little short. Carter and Beverly sparked some big moments, as did Carissa Kreichauf, but the Eagles had too much power at the net.
"I think they dominated the net against us," said North Carroll coach Lloyd Ford. "That made it more difficult if we made any other mistake. They were rock-steady."
Pub Date: 10/06/96