Severna Park moves to title match Falcons dust Bowie, 3-0, in Class 4A semifinals


November 18, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Now if they can just do it one more time, Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar will be elated and relieved, to say the least.

Last night at Essex Community College in Baltimore County, top-ranked Severna Park swept Bowie (19-4) of Prince Georges County, 3-0, by scores of 15-3, 15-9 and 16-14 in the Class 4A volleyball semifinals. The Falcons advance to Saturday's 5 p.m. final against Walt Whitman, which routed Dulaney in three games last night at Catonsville Community College.

Dunbar hopes his Falcons (17-1) might have rid themselves of a terrible late-season habit, something they had done in three of the last four matches before last night.

Last night the Falcons broke their recent trend of losing the first game in crucial matches before going on to win three straight. It happened against South River in the Anne Arundel County championship and again against Glen Burnie in the first game of the 4A East region playoffs.

A 3-0 victory over Old Mill in the region semis provided Dunbar a respite, but then they were at it again Friday night in Carroll County. They lost the first game of the region final to Westminster by 15-8, but bounced back to eliminate the Owls 15-9, 15-12 and 15-5.

Prince Georges County champion Bowie took the wrath last night as the Falcons were ready when the bell rang. Severna Park advanced 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 Dunbar. "We've been losing that first game, except for one [Old Mill] and we really didn't want to do that tonight.

"You do that here and all of sudden it's all over."

The Falcons did precisely that last year in losing to eventual state champion Watkins Mill in the state semifinals at Essex.

Severna Park made it to the state final two other times in Dunbar's 12-year tenure in 1987 and 1989 and copped two other state titles in 1976 and 1978 under coach Jim Tryzbinski.

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.

"If you do not have a state caliber setter, you are not going to win the states," said Dunbar. "Every year we've gotten this far, we've had a great setter and this year is no different."

Two more seniors, Traci Sariscak and Sarah Grimm, were 16-for-18 and 11-for-14 serving.

Despite those numbers, it wasn't a great night for the Falcons, who missed 13 serves. "That's a lot in three games," said Dunbar. "When you're missing more than four per game, that's rotations where you're not scoring."

The play of junior middle hitter Lauren Bessire, who Dunbar said has stepped up in the playoffs, compensated.

"Lauren was really quick for us in the middle tonight," said Dunbar. "We missed too many serves at the wrong time -- 13 is a lot. Lauren has played above the level she played in regular season."

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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