N. Caroline keeps playoff streak going 4-game win over S. River sets up 2A East title match

ROUNDUP

November 07, 1996|By Brant James | Brant James,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

North Caroline enters the state playoffs with a certain amount of expectation each season, having reached the region semifinals 13 straight years in either Class 1A or 2A.

The Bulldogs (15-2) clearly had playoff confidence yesterday, snuffing out host South River despite several scares, 15-10, 11-15, 15-8, 16-14, to set up a date with Stephen Decatur for the Class 2A East championship.

South River (13-5) was points away from changing the match's tone on several occasions as hitters Stephanie Chell (nine kills) and Caroline Tippett (six kills) connected for key winners.

However, the Bulldogs' combination of power serving and power hitting behind KaShaya Roberts' (22 assists) setting and Liz Zietlow's (nine kills) net work never let momentum slip away.

"We're a team that has lived and died by the serve," said North Caroline coach Margie Knight. "And South River's so good a defensive team that if we send them free balls, they'll ram them down our throat."

South River coach Maureen Carter was left with only the realization of how close her team had come.

"Every game, we had them. We had them," she said. "But every game, one little momentum move went the other way. We gave a lot to them, and they're too good not to take it."

North Caroline, leading 13-0 in the third game, allowed the Seahawks to pull as close as 14-8 with a bevy of hitting errors before finally closing the game out.

South River could not carry momentum over to the decisive fourth game, allowing the Bulldogs to jump to a quick 6-2 lead. Jamie Lockerman eventually stretched the lead to 11-4 with consecutive aces on a five-point spree, but her mis-hit on a free ball later in the game gave the Seahawks the break they needed for a last comeback bid.

The Seahawks outscored North Caroline, 10-3, over the next seven side outs, and took a 14-13 lead when North Caroline could not return a Chell shot. The Bulldogs regained side-out on a passing error, however, and tied the game when a Robin Catterton dink landed inches wide.

Laura Smith finished out the match for the Bulldogs two side-outs later with a two-point service run.

Stephen Decatur 3, Northeast-AA 1: Corallee Patterson had 14 service points and three aces and Jodi Stevens totaled 14 kills as host Stephen Decatur (11-6) recorded a 15-8, 2-15, 15-6, 15-5 match victory over Northeast-AA (5-10) in a Class 2A East regional semifinal. Jodi Lanham added 23 assists for the home team.

Northern-Calvert 3, Glen Burnie 0: Two-time defending state champion Northern of Calvert County (22-0) scored 13 unanswered points in the third and final game to complete a 16-6, 15-1, 15-8 sweep of visiting and No. 4 Glen Burnie (13-4) in a state Class 4A East region semifinal. Katie Coleman had 12 kills and three blocks for the winners while Glen Burnie's Amy Hutson had five kills and two aces. Northern will play host to Calvert at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the region final.

Calvert 3, Old Mill 0: The hitting of Calvert co-captains Erin McMahon and Erin Fowler along with the setting of Jen Peel and the absence of Old Mill's Kristen Servinsky (school absence) added up to a 15-6, 15-7, 15-2 sweep for host Calvert (11-3) over Old Mill (7-8) in a Class 4A East region semifinal. Jamie Smith and Stephanie Caplan had key blocks for the Patriots throughout the match but seven side-outs in the final game limited Old Mill to just two points.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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