Mistakes cost Dulaney in loss to Watkins Mills Serving, passing problems lead to semifinal defeat

November 13, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Dulaney had not reached the state volleyball semifinals since 1984, and that would be the No. 4 Lions' consolation last night.

Watkins Mills denied the Lions their first trip to the state championship by winning the Class 4A semifinal, 15-5, 15-9, 15-9, at Essex Community College.

In Saturday's Class 4A final at Catonsville Community College, the 18-1 Montgomery County team will meet two-time defending state champion Northern of Calvert County, a team that is 75-0 over the past three years.

The Lions (15-3) were especially disappointed last night because they did not play as well as they had earlier in the season. They struggled with serving as well as passing and couldn't get much of a power attack going.

"We could have made mistakes," said senior hitter Jen Confer, "but we had to overcome them, and we didn't."

The Wolverines, who have won 18 matches in a row, showed good passing and a balanced offense, but they also took advantage of the opportunities Dulaney handed them.

"Every time we were in a bind, it seemed they would shoot themselves in the foot," said Wolverines coach Diane Carnvale. "They just made more mistakes than we did."

Carnvale said she expected Dulaney to hit the ball more, but the Lions expected that too. Difficulty with passing often prevented the Lions from using an attack every bit as balanced and powerful as the Wolverines'.

Tracy Miksis led the Lions with six kills while Jody Costa had four and Lisa Headd, three.

But serving has been the Lions' Achilles heel all season, and with 10 serving mistakes, nothing changed last night. The number wasn't as bad as the timing of them.

In the second game, the Lions tried to rally several times, but each time, a serving error cut it short.

"It seemed like we would fight back and get even or get a couple points and then serve out or serve into the net," said Dulaney coach Dan Overtoom.

In the third game, the Lions hung with the Wolverines to a 9-9 tie, but Watkins Mill won the last six points -- five on Dulaney mistakes.

Still, the Lions tried hard to put a positive slant on their season.

"It's still incredible that we got here," said Miksis, "and it was a great experience. It's just sad that it ended like this. This is what we wanted the most."

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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