Atholton, just having fun, advances to state semifinals Raiders sweep by Glenelg for 2A South region title

November 09, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Cyndi Lauper sang it; Atholton's volleyball team is doing it.

Lauper made the song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," a hit. And the Raiders were doing just that in advancing last night to the state semifinals for the second time in three years with a 15-7, 15-8, 15-7 victory over host Glenelg in the Class 2A South region championship.

"This is the first season in three years that there hasn't been a personality conflict," said Atholton senior Madigan Marth, who led the Raiders (14-5) with 12 kills. "This team is a lot more down to earth. We're all having so much fun. I can feel this team coming together."

Atholton, which lost to Loch Raven in four games for the state championship two years ago, will play North Caroline in a semifinal match Wednesday night at Essex Community College. North Caroline defeated visiting Stephen Decatur, 15-11, 15-7, 15-9, last night.

Atholton and Glenelg (12-7) split during the regular season, with each team winning on the other's court. Glenelg won the most recent meeting, Oct. 16, in five games, but Atholton was without Jessica Edwards, its hardest hitter. Edwards, a senior, played well last night, recording 11 kills and 11 digs.

Edwards was especially impressive in the first game, when her hard hits helped Atholton outscore Glenelg, 11-1, to close out the game. The Raiders, behind the serving of Laura Kuckuda, won the last eight points.

Glenelg earned the first two points of the second game, but that was the last time it led in the match. Atholton broke a 4-4 tie with six straight points and was never again threatened.

The Gladiators had six service errors in the second game, as many as they did the entire match against Oakland Mills on Wednesday.

"When it counted, we were having a lot of trouble on our serves," said Glenelg's Kim Laws. "But they just outplayed us."

Said Glenelg first-year coach Fred Talentino: "They got their hits down and their serves in and we didn't. If you have a match like that against a team like Atholton, you're not going to win."

Atholton's Linda Mihelcic (6 feet 3) and Kuckuda (6-1) have improved their play at the net, and each had four blocks against Glenelg. Jennifer Thomas contributed four blocks and nine digs.

"I thought we played well," said Atholton's first-year coach Mike Kalinock. "Our ability to side-out was the key. We're playing very consistent right now. The last few games, I've hardly been coaching."

Glenelg, the defending Class 2A state champion, had a good season considering it lost its top player and setter a year ago.

"If you saw us at the beginning of the season, you'd know that we made it farther than anyone thought," said Laws.

North East 3, Towson 1: North East (11-8) rebounded from losing the first game to win three straight and defeat Towson, 11-15, 15-7, 15-5, 15-9 in the Class 2A North final. Towson was in control until early in the game two, when North East ran off six consecutive points to take an 8-3 lead. Jaimee Reynolds led the way for Towson (10-9) with six kills.

Pub Date: 11/09/96

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