Friends stands just a bit taller

No. 10 Quakers use height to top No. 9 McDonogh, win inaugural IAAM A title

November 07, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For a second straight year, Friends used strong net play and consistent defense to stun top-seeded McDonogh for the private schools volleyball championship.

The No. 10 Quakers, who had lost to No. 9 McDonogh twice this season, rode a 15-5, 12-15, 15-7, 16-14 victory last night at Goucher College to the inaugural Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division title. Last year, the Quakers swept the Eagles in three games to win the last Association of Independent Schools crown after falling to the Eagles in the title match in 1997.

Last night, the Quakers (15-2) overwhelmed the Eagles (15-2) at the net with a front line ranging from 5 feet 8 to 5-11. They were especially dominant in the middle, where Lesley Wojcik had 28 kills and 11 blocks and Anouk Erni had 16 kills and 14 blocks.

"We knew every effort counted," said the 5-11 Erni, who led the Quakers in a stellar defensive effort at the net and on the floor. "In the regular season, I didn't always put as much effort into it, but I knew I had to tonight. McDonogh is our rival and everybody wants to beat them. To beat them twice, this is just so surprising."

Wojcik and Erni helped the Quakers rally from 7-1 down in both the third and the fourth games.

In the final game, which was tied at 7, 10, 11, 12 and 14, the Eagles served for the game at 14-12, but Quakers setter Kirsten Coe slipped a short ball over the net that the Eagles could not return.

After the side out, Wojcik's kill brought the Quakers to within 14-13 and her powerhouse hit at 15-14 led to match point on an Eagles hitting error.

Earlier in the match, a Wojcik kill finished off the first game in which the Quakers scored 13 of the last 15 points. The Eagles recovered to win the second game even after the Quakers took a 12-7 lead.

Natalie Brooks led the Eagles with 20 kills while setter Rachel Urban had 15 assists. Coe had 11 assists for the Quakers and Chelsea Kehne had 10.

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