No. 6 Dulaney overpowers Western Lions shake off jitters, win first regional since '83

November 09, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For No. 6 Dulaney, it's all in the serving.

In the opener of last night's Class 4A North regional championship against Western, the Lions missed eight serves -- and lost.

They missed nine serves in the final three games combined and won the match, 13-15, 15-2, 15-8, 15-7.

"We served horrendously in the first game," said Dulaney coach Dan Overtoom. "I can't believe we missed eight serves and it was still as close as it was."

Lions senior Tracy Miksis said nerves had something to do with the slow start -- mostly because Dulaney had lost in the regional final the past two years.

"Everyone was really nervous because we had never won a regional final," said Miksis. "This meant the world to us. This was our goal all season. We really wanted to go to states."

The Lions (15-2) advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 1983. They will play Montgomery County's Watkins Mill Tuesday at 6 or 8 p.m. at Essex Community College.

Last night, Dulaney showcased a balanced offense led by Miksis with eight kills. Lisa Headd added seven and Jen Confer and Kelli Kramer, five each.

For city champ Western (13-2), their host's power was more than they had seen all season.

"There's not a lot of competition in the city," said Doves senior Shannon Moore, "so for us to come out here and do as well as we did is something to be proud of."

That was especially true because half of the Doves had never played competitively until this fall while most of the Lions have several years of club volleyball.

The Doves, who beat Dulaney to win their last region title in 1994, threw an early scare into the Lions by winning that first game.

Dulaney took a 12-10 lead, but the Doves rallied to match point with the help of Selena Gaskins' tip and Tiffany Silver's ace. Gaskins finished off the game with an ace placing the ball right where Dulaney's setter was moving out of the back row and it dropped.

But Western's excitement would be short-lived. The Lions just had too much power, and once their serves started to fall, they started to roll.

The Doves' only lead the rest of the way came at 2-0 in the fourth game, but that was quickly erased.

"With volleyball especially, if you don't stay together and you let one thing get you down, it can have a domino effect," said Western's first-year coach Anna Gibbs, who played high school ball at Northern of Calvert County.

"In the second game, we weren't talking and we weren't playing as a team. Not that we did that all the time, but just a little bit of that is going to tear you down in a match this crucial."

Pub Date: 11/09/96

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