Edgewood wins region for 1st time, tops Pointers Down 2-1, Rams rally to win Class 1A North

November 09, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Down 2-1 in games and behind 10-13 in the fourth game, Edgewood rallied to pull out a 15-13 decision, then rolled past Sparrows Point in the fifth game to complete a 6-15, 15-6, 11-15, 15-13, 15-4 victory for the Class 1A North region championship last night.

Edgewood (15-2), playing in a regional final for the first time, will play the West regional winner Tuesday night at Essex Community College.

The visiting Rams overcame that three-point deficit on points by senior Karly Crawford and juniors Kristy Collins and Erica Turner, and Pointers' coach Linda Day called time out.

"I told the players that we had the advantage and to take it to them. 'They're the ones who should be scared, not you,'" she said.

It was not to be.

Edgewood completed a three-point run by server Marissa Willoughby, and Sparrows Point (7-11) never recovered.

"We get in trouble, and we seem to fall out of our game," Day added.

Edgewood started its three seniors and Sparrows Point began with three of its four seniors, but the respective underclassmen played major roles.

"We've been down early and gone to five-game matches before," said Crawford, a hitter. "We know how each other plays, and we work well together."

Of the slow start, Edgewood coach Debbie Brinkman said her team "got tensed up at the start."

"Part of that was never having been in a final before," she continued, "and then I think the crowd took us out of that first game. However, we had been in that position before. In the fifth game, my players knew [Sparrows Point] was down, and when we get teams in that situation, we pounce."

Collins, a junior, sparked Edgewood with her serving and sets, and was complemented by the 1-2 punch of Crawford and Willoughby. Crawford had a good offensive night, while Willoughby, another junior who usually substituted for her, provided solid serving and strong defense.

For Sparrows Point, 6-foot junior Candace Gay was a tower of strength. As long as her teammates could get the ball in her hands, the result was usually positive. Crawford was able to block her shots on occasion, but most of the time, it was a slam or a touch that found open space.

"I built my offense around Candace and Amber [junior Amber Adams, a hitter with a good serve]," Day said. "If we can get a pass to the setter, we can do well from there."

Veteran Edgewood began the year hoping to get this far, but was not really sure it could.

"We just knew we had to work very hard for it to happen," Crawford said.

Pub Date: 11/09/96

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