Lansdowne opens fast, shoots down nemesis Comets No. 7 Vikings break years of losses to Catonsville

October 16, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

When Lansdowne fell to Dulaney four weeks ago, the Vikings lost their chance to win the Baltimore County championship, but that did not take the edge off yesterday's match at Catonsville.

The Vikings had not beaten Catonsville in at least a dozen years and were out to end the Comets' dominance of their west-side rivalry.

They asserted themselves quickly.

The No. 7-ranked Vikings took control of the net and used balanced hitting and strong blocking to beat the 11th-ranked Comets, 15-3, 15-9, 13-15, 15-5 in a Baltimore County Division I match.

"This was huge," said Vikings setter Beth McCain, who had 30 assists. "We started out strong. We were all hitting good. The passing was on. We could just feel it. Everything was flowing right."

The Vikings (11-1, 8-1 in Division I) established their net game early with 6-foot-2 Chris Happel making two big blocks and a key hit in the first four points.

With Happel drawing all the attention to the middle, the Vikings mixed it up, using outside hitters Lisa Brooks and Sarah Grimes. Both found plenty of holes in the Comets' defense at the net and in the backcourt.

"Our blocking was not effective on their outside hitters, and it had to be, because it's very hard to be effective on Happel," said Comets coach Debbie Clem, whose teams have lost only twice to Lansdowne in her 19 seasons at Catonsville.

Happel finished with nine kills but had plenty of help with the attack. Grimes had 10 kills and Brooks nine. Middle hitter Dawn Johns added eight.

The Vikings cruised through the first game and took the second after falling behind 5-4. Then the Comets mixed it up and cut down on their mistakes to take the third game.

The fourth game was tied at 5-5 before the Vikings rolled up seven points on McCain's serve. An ace, two kills and a block by Happel and two Johns kills helped Lansdowne take a 12-5 lead.

The Comets (7-4, 5-3) had expected an emotional boost after upsetting Loch Raven last week, but they made too many mistakes to maintain the momentum from that match.

"Instead of building upon something good, we've kind of let down," said Comets senior Marci Brewer. "We need to get the snowball effect going and we haven't been able to do that."

Brewer and Kate Hipsley led the Comets with nine kills each while Dani Remeikis had eight.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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