3 and counting: Mercy, Spalding gain Catholic tourney finals again Magic sweeps Mt. Carmel

Cavs blank Seton Keough

November 01, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Mercy and Spalding have met in the Catholic League tournament's championship round in each of the past two years. Some things apparently don't change much.

No. 15 Mercy and No. 13 Spalding will again clash in this year's tournament final. Mercy swept Mt. Carmel, 15-8, 15-9, 15-5, in one semifinal last night at the College of Notre Dame while Spalding had similar success against Seton Keough in the other, advancing with a 15-8, 15-11, 15-5 win over the Gators.

Spalding and Mercy will play tonight at 6 in the championship match at the College of Notre Dame. Mercy has won the title in each of the last two years, and the Cavaliers hope to break that streak. The teams split two matches this year during the regular season.

Mercy (16-4) turned in a solid all-around performance in its sweep of a stubborn Mt. Carmel team.

Setter Michelle Russell made the Magic's offense go and showed why she was named the Catholic League's Player of the Year. Russell compiled a whopping 33 assists in the match and helped the team's intensity stay high.

Kelli McKee helped up front with four blocks as the Magic overwhelmed Mt. Carmel (13-5). The Cougars got strong efforts from Stephanie Novak (eight assists) and Kirsten Herold (nine kills), but it wasn't enough.

Spalding (15-3) scored a similar victory in its match with Seton Keough (7-10). The Cavaliers used solid performances from Jennifer Datz (15-for-16 serving, six kills, four aces), Courtney Dixon (14-for-15 serving, six aces) and Melissa Mahoney (six kills) to help with the sweep.

"I have a lot of confidence in my team," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor. "It was a total team effort."

The Cavaliers gave the Gators few openings, using tough play at the net, good defense and timely passing. Spalding also got a strong effort from Andrea Loepker in the third game that helped seal the victory.

Pub Date: 11/01/98

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