Mercy sweeps Spalding for Catholic title Jefferson and Hansen lead way for 23-2 Magic

November 02, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers came into last night's Catholic League Tournament final hoping to find an answer to Mercy's hard-hitting duo of 5-foot-10 Kelley Jefferson and 6-foot Player of the Year Stephanie Hansen.

An hour later, they discovered that the only reasonable answer is to stop asking the question.

"There is no answer for them," said Mercy coach John Singleton

Jefferson and Hansen had nine kills and one ace each, leading the ninth-ranked Magic to a 15-6, 15-9, 15-11 win over the Cavaliers at Seton Keough. It was the second straight title for Mercy (23-2), which didn't lose to a league foe all season.

Players said they simply stuck with what got them there.

"We tried to use what we had to the fullest," said Jefferson, who had never played volleyball prior to this season but became one of the team's top hitters.

Mercy started quickly, building a 10-1 lead in Game 1 before cruising to an easy win. In Game 2, however, the Magic began to run into some adversity.

The serving of Spalding's Becky Seifert combined with some unforced errors had the Cavaliers leading, 7-0, before Mercy even served. From there, however, Mercy regrouped to score 15 of the next 17 points to take command of the match.

Spalding coach Linda Taylor said a plethora of little mistakes hurt her team's chances.

"They're just a very solid team all around, and the little things hurt us," said Taylor. "There are so many little aspects of volleyball where you have to do well. If you have a slight breakdown anywhere, it's going to hurt you."

Said Singleton: "Spalding kept passing the ball to the 10-foot line, and when they do that they're going to have a hard time beating us."

In a must-win Game 3, Spalding fell behind, 10-1, and never had a chance, losing on a kill by Jefferson.

Singleton, who had changed from a sweat suit into a sports coat and slacks seconds before the start of the match, said he wanted to look his best for the occasion.

"I dress for my girls, because they deserve it and I want to look good for them," he said.

In the consolation, Anna Meyers had eight kills and Megan Lewis added five aces as second-seeded St. Mary's (12-4) defeated host Seton Keough, 15-12, 12-15, 15-6, 15-12.

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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