Dailey helps NDP finish off Friends in AIS title game Senior notches 13 kills in upset for 1st AIA crown

November 03, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

If anyone doubted that Brenna Dailey had fully recovered from an early-season bout with pneumonia, the Notre Dame Prep senior sure convinced them last night.

Dailey, a 6-foot outside hitter, pounded down the last two points to lead the Pirates to a 15-7, 7-15, 8-15, 15-13, 15-9 upset of top-seeded Friends in the Association of Independent Schools A Division Volleyball Tournament at McDonogh.

Although she admitted to being a little tired at the end of the two-hour match, Dailey never showed it. She finished with a match-high 13 kills -- none bigger than the two that closed out a final six-point run and gave NDP its first AIS volleyball title.

'She sure picked the right time to pound it to the floor," said NDP coach Mary Bartel, whose team avenged a four-game, regular-season loss to the Quakers.

Despite her illness, Dailey didn't miss a match all season. By the time she was diagnosed as having pneumonia, she had recovered enough that she missed only a couple of practices.

"Even though she was still sick when she came back, she still played," said Bartel, "and we needed her. Her presence on the court makes a big difference. She's just very calming. She's not flapable."

That's exactly what the Pirates (8-1) needed to turn around last night's match.

As Friends (11-3) came within two points of winning the match in four games, the Pirates stayed calm while the Quakers began to struggle.

"We were extremely confident," said Dailey. "We knew we could beat this team, because of the way we improved throughout the season, the way we hung together."

Still, the Pirates came dangerously close to seeing the Quakers sweep three straight games.

Friends led the fourth game 13-9, but could not close out the match. The Quakers gave NDP four points on hitting errors while Kim McCombe and Kris Wallace had kills in the six-point rally.

The same thing happened in the fifth game after Quaker Marci McLachlin's kill tied it at 9. The Quakers' passing broke down and they handed NDP two points when they couldn't get the ball over the net on three hits.

A Quakers' hitting error gave the Pirates another point and McCombe's ace made it 13-9 before Dailey closed out the match.

"We lost our intensity," said Friends hitter Ruth Draper. "I think once we start getting ahead, we get ahead of ourselves and think we're winning and we don't try enough."

Even though both teams showcased their big hitters -- Brenner and Wallace (eight kills) for NDP and Draper (11 kills) and McLachlin (10 skills) for Friends -- each got contributions from almost everyone on the roster.

Pub Date: 11/03/96

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