Dulaney serves up a win fit for royalty Lions blank Eastern Tech for Baltimore County title

October 30, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Dulaney Lions needed just 48 minutes last night to wipe away 21 years of frustration.

Using a dominating serving game and powerful net play, the Lions silenced a boisterous crowd at Eastern Tech with a 15-3, 15-6, 15-4 victory over the host Mavericks to win their first Baltimore County title since 1976.

After watching his team serve 13 aces and keep the Mavericks off balance all night, Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard said the victory was simply a matter of the Lions playing to their strength.

"That's Dulaney volleyball," said Blanchard. "We've been doing it all season. Everybody wonders how we score so easily. One of the reasons is that we take teams out of their offense with our serving."

That was most evident in the early stages of the match. The Lions broke out to a 6-0 lead in game one with the help of five aces by middle hitter Lisa Headd.

"We spent a lot of time in practice yesterday working on our serves," said Headd, who finished with seven kills and seven aces. "We knew that was how we had to win."

Even when they weren't scoring aces, the Lions used their serving game to dictate play, often keeping Eastern Tech on the defensive and forcing the Mavericks (15-2) to lob the ball over the net. After dominating the county's Division II all season, the Mavericks only could muster more than three straight points once.

"They have excellent serving and are a very well-disciplined team," said Mavericks coach Mike Biedermann. "Our girls played hard. They're division champs, and they earned that."

On this night, however, they were facing a team situated a level above. Led by Headd, Melaney Heagy (five kills), Jody Costa (four kills) and setter Erin Reinhardt (nine assists), Dulaney scored at least the first six points in each of the three games, and only had its lead threatened once.

That occurred in the second game, when -- thanks in large part to the play of hitters Christina Fox and Shannon Johnson -- Eastern scored five straight points to cut an 8-1 deficit to 8-6. From there, however, the Lions scored the next nine points to take the game and put a stranglehold on the match.

Now, both teams turn their attention to the state playoffs. The Lions begin their quest for a state title Monday with a regional quarterfinal match at Northwestern of Baltimore. The Mavericks travel to Aberdeen Friday.

Dulaney players said the win served as a nice tune-up.

"It helps," said Headd. "It gets us pumped and it gets us confident."

Pub Date: 10/30/97

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