Westminster edges by winless Frederick with fifth-game rally McShane boosts 4-5 Owls with defense, late serves


October 09, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

A Westminster volleyball player shown returning a spike was incorrectly identified in a photo caption in the Friday, Oct. 9 Carroll edition. The correct name of the player should have been Jody Van Doren.

Michele Crouse came away from a post-game team talk and threw her hands in the air. It was as if she were saying she couldn't explain what she had just witnessed.

The Westminster coach had seen her team, seemingly on its way to an easy three-game sweep of visiting, winless Frederick, have to pull off a late rally to escape with a 15-5, 15-0, 10-15, 10-15, 15-12 victory last night.


"It's been like this all year," she said of her 4-5 squad, whose victories have come over three Frederick County schools in the Central Maryland Conference. "You never know what any given lineup is going to do."

When Courtney Johnson got a kill and later found an open spot for an 8-5 Westminster lead in the fifth game, the home team appeared to be on the right track. But the 0-9 Cadets, behind 5-10 sophomore Ashley Bush, came back to tie at eight and later at 11.

Nicole Means gave Frederick its last lead, 12-11, on a service point, but Kelly McShane, one of three Westminster seniors, restored order. First, she thwarted a Frederick serve when she found an open spot, and then, on her own serve, helped reel off the final four points.

"We looked so good those first two games, you wonder where we were in last week's county tournament [a 1-7 record for games]," Crouse said, "and then we turn around and keep them in it."

The visitors went up 5-0 in the third game and were never seriously challenged. Then, down 10-9 in the fourth, Angie Boyer produced six successive service points.

"When we went up 5-0 in the third, it gave us some momentum and some confidence," Frederick coach Doug Frailey said. "It got into the fifth game, and I thought we were going to take them.

"The last time we played, we were in it. But [that] was only our second match, and I have a group of 10th-graders who are just learning. The inexperience hurts."

In the first meeting, the Owls won, 3-1, but had to battle from behind to do it, overcoming a 14-2 deficit in the fourth game for a 15-13, 15-9, 14-16, 16-14. In the final game, Johnson had 10 straight service points, including four aces.

Third-year regular Theresa Schmitz, and two-year starter Abby Cornett, a second-team All-County player last year, are the other Westminster seniors.

They and McShane also are on the same club team, and with that experience, half Westminster's starters know what the others will do. Regardless of the makeup of the rest of the lineup, however, there is still a lot of inexperience.

"Still, we're learning every game, learning from each other," Schmitz pointed out. "The new players aren't intimidated, either. It's a matter of getting into a good routine."

Of the match, she said, "We had the skills, but they had a lot of heart." To which Cornett said, "We just had too many unforced errors. That's what hurts the most."

Pub Date: 10/09/98

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