Watkins Mill team too tough for Falcons Severna Park crushed, 3-0, in 4A semifinal match

November 12, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Rolling through the Anne Arundel County League and the 4A East region, Severna Park did not meet an opponent of the caliber of Watkins Mill, the team the Falcons met in last night's 4A state semifinals at Essex Community College.

Watkins Mill (18-1), a Montgomery County team that has never won a state title, simply overwhelmed No. 2-ranked Severna Park, 3-0, by lopsided scores of 15-5, 15-2 and 15-4.

Hitter Laura Anderson and setter Rikki Hess hooked up with outside hitters Kelly Ratliff and Leila Navidi to lead the well-balanced Wolverines into the state final.

The Wolverines, who lost last year's championship match to Northern of Calvert County, meets Bowie at 5 p.m. Saturday at Catonsville Community College. Bowie beat Perry Hall, 3-0, in the other 4A semifinal.

Watkins Mill's only loss was a forfeit of its first game to Paint Branch when it was discovered one player forged a medical form on her physical. The Wolverines have lost only seven times (including the '96 final and the forfeit) in the past four years.

Severna Park (18-2) last won a state championship in 1993 and at that time it was the third in a row under 11-year coach Tim Dunbar. Northern eliminated Severna Park in the East Region in each of the past three years.

With nemesis Northern moving to 3A this year, Severna Park, winner of 17 in row going into last night, was optimistic -- until the second game.

"After they won the first one easily, we got tight in the second game and we didn't do the things we needed to do," said Dunbar. "They got up 7-2 and we seemed to drop it another notch lower than what we were already playing. That was telling, real telling."

Dunbar was referring to his team's body language that revealed frustration and a realization that the rout was on.

"It's one thing to be beat like that by a more talented team, but that was not the case," said Dunbar. "We are just as talented, but they executed and we didn't. We missed 14 serves and that's an average of almost five a game. You can't win with serving like that."

Anderson had a match-high 10 kills and Hess, the Wolverines' setter, had 10 assists. Junior Christine Pyrdol had six kills and 6-foot sophomore Alexis Carson controlled the net.

The Falcons spent the night trying to hit around Carson, who Watkins Mill coach Diane Carnvale described as "intimidating."

Pub Date: 11/12/97

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