Top-ranked Severna Park kicked an old habit last night in sweeping Bowie of Prince Georges County, 15-3, 15-9, 16-14, in the Class 4A state semifinals last night at Essex Community College.
Severna Park (17-1) broke their recent trend of losing the first game in crucial matches before rallying for victory, this time being ready from the start to advance to its first state final since 1993 when it went 22-0 in winning a third consecutive state championship.
"I think they were a lot more nervous than they we were, and we came out a whole lot more ready than we have in the state playoffs," said coach Tim Dunbar. "We've been losing that first game, except for one and we really didn't want to do that tonight. You do that here and all of sudden it's all over."
Senior setter Lauren Boyd was one of several heroes for the Falcons last night with what is believed to be a state record for serving in the final four. She went 25-for-25 with two aces and also had 35 assists.
Two more seniors, Traci Sariscak and Sarah Grimm, were 16-for-18 and 11-for-14 serving.
Class 4A: A difference in height proved to be the difference in the other semifinal match as Montgomery County's Walt Whitman (19-0) defeated No. 3 Dulaney, 15-4, 15-1, 15-3, at Essex Community College.
For the Lions, the season ends with their only loss in 18 matches.
"We had a great season," said senior Teresa Graham. "If we had faced any other team, we would have beaten them. This team is going to be state champions."
Class 1A: Allegany forced a fifth game by getting the final eight points of Game 4, and the Campers scored the final 11 points of the match to capture a 9-15, 15-2, 11-15, 15-6, 15-5 state semifinal victory over Hereford at Essex Community College.
Hereford (17-3) was up and down, playing well in the first and third games but struggling the rest of the way -- especially against Allegany's front line. The Campers scored 23 of the match's final 28 points to advance to Saturday's state title match against the Rising Sun-Smithsburg winner.
"There was a lot of nerves," said Hereford coach Pat Pilson. "They wanted it really bad [and] they just weren't clicking."
Pub Date: 11/18/98