Westminster seniors step up in 4-game victory over Arundel Owls, just .500 on season, grow stronger in playoffs

November 12, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Westminster got help from several places in its 15-9, 15-9, 5-15, 15-5 victory over visiting Arundel in last night's Class 4A East Region semifinal, but seniors Abbie Cornett, Kelly McShane and Theresa Schmitz truly stepped up in a big way.

The Owls, who play the Severna Park/Old Mill winner tomorrow in the region final, delighted coach Michele Crouse with their team effort, but Crouse said the three seniors really carried the load.

"They came up big," said Crouse. "They've kind of sat back [for part of the year], but it seems like in the past four games they've said, 'We don't want this to end.' "

Their wish has been granted. Cornett led Westminster (8-8) with 13 kills, just ahead of McShane's eight. Schmitz flew all over the court, making a number of good shots and saves and serving well.

Westminster also got good efforts from setters Julie Garver (12 assists) and Kara Weiland (11), who constantly kept the offense moving and let the Owls keep the pressure on. Lindsey Brothers also made several good shots at the net, and Carrie Myers had a good all-around match.

The Owls had to work hard against a stubborn Arundel (11-7) team that didn't fall easily. The Wildcats were winless last year but have come a long way under first-year coach Greg LeGrand.

Basketball star Shaunte Edmonds was a force at the net, giving Westminster fits throughout the first game, but adjustments helped the Owls take charge.

The Wildcats had taken a 9-7 lead in the first game when Westminster slowly began hitting from different angles and keeping the ball away from Edmonds. Cornett (four points) and McShane (four points) then made strong serves that Arundel had trouble with, and the Owls reeled off eight straight to win the first game.

Westminster started the second game in similar fashion. Jody Van Doren made several good serves as the Owls scored the game's first six points, helped by Arundel errors. But the Wildcats recovered and rallied to take a 9-8 lead behind big HTC plays from Edmonds and Jenny McClurg.

The Owls came back with another late rally, however, this time scoring the game's final seven points. Westminster had crept to a 12-9 lead when Crouse inserted Jameson Cowan, just up from the JV. Cowan served a pair of bullet-like aces and closed the game out with a solid third serve Arundel couldn't handle.

Edmonds stepped up again to help the Wildcats win game three. She came up with several kills to help Arundel reel off 10 straight and cruise to a 15-5 victory.

Westminster took over again in the fourth game, getting good shots from several people to take a 9-1 lead and roll to victory.

"When we play well, we don't make a lot of errors and we're tough to beat," said LeGrand. "But errors have been the big problem in our season."

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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