North Carroll serves up win over Walter Johnson Lare delivers key run of points for Panthers

November 05, 1996|By Ed McDonough | Ed McDonough,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North Carroll senior Kristy Lare said she was in a slump as a setter for the Panthers' volleyball team, so she used her performance as a back-line defender and server to make up for it.

She served up nine consecutive points early in the second game of last night's Class 3A West region quarterfinal match against Walter Johnson to help the host Panthers to a 16-14, 15-2, 15-9 victory. No. 13 North Carroll (13-3) likely will visit South Carroll, which defeated Liberty last night, in a West regional semifinal tomorrow.

"Kristy had an excellent match, both serving and in the way she covered the back row," said Panthers coach Lloyd Ford. "That was the best she played this year in the back."

North Carroll used its front-line height advantage to open up a 12-3 lead in the first game, but struggled to win after a hot service streak by Walter Johnson's Allison Roberts.

Walter Johnson coach Ricardo Vera blamed a combination of a 1-hour, 45-minute bus ride from Montgomery County and a new lineup for his team's slow start. "We usually don't start this slow," said the first-year coach, who saw the Wildcats improve from 3-11 a year ago to finish 8-6 this season.

Both teams were sluggish early in the second game, due in part to a variety of service errors.

But with the Panthers ahead, 4-2, Lare went to work. She started with an ace, then served a pair of balls the Wildcats couldn't handle. Lare's teammates then got into the act with some kills and shots that Walther Johnson players were unable to handle cleanly. When the damage was done, North Carroll led 13-2 and the visitors were reeling.

"Serving is my strong point," said Lare, who returned to the team this year after sitting out last season. "Originally, I was a setter, but I've been in a little bit of a slump, so I've been playing back- row defense."

Vera returned to his old starting lineup in Game 3, only to see North Carroll build an 11-5 lead. The Wildcats cut the margin to 12-9 before a bad serve turned the ball back to the Panthers. Amber Peltzer served the final three points to wrap up the victory.

"I was pleased with our play," Ford said. "It wasn't the most powerful play. I think it was a good team play."

Pub Date: 11/05/96

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