Defense carries S. Carroll to victory

Cavaliers advance to region semifinals, 3-0

3A Volleyball

High schoools

November 09, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton calls serving and defense the biggest keys to her team's success in Carroll County this season. Last night against Einstein in the Class 3A, West region volleyball quarterfinals, the host Cavaliers needed only one of the two to get the job done.

Despite some of its poorest serving in recent weeks, including eight service errors in the final two games, the Cavaliers still had little trouble with the overmatched Titans of Montgomery County in a 15-1, 15-9, 15-5 win.

"It wasn't a real good match for us, to be perfectly honest," said Eaton. "It was the same old story -- our serves. When we served well, we did fine. When the serves let us down, everything just kind of fell apart."

Regardless, it was another easy win for the Cavaliers (13-3), who defeated North Carroll, 3-0, in the opening round. The Winfield team will next take on Liberty, a five-set winner over North Hagerstown in last night's other semifinal, tomorrow night in Sykesville.

Playing for a chance to make the regional final is a welcome change for a team that played especially well at times last season only to lose to Thomas Johnson in the second round.

Last night, players said they were determined to not let that happen again.

"We played as a team," said senior Stacy Pittinger. "[The Titans] weren't going to give up -- you could see it in their faces. But either way, we knew we'd do well if we just played our game."

Pittinger did her part, contributing three kills and three blocks to go along with solid efforts by Emily Wolfing (seven kills, two blocks), Vicky Softy (four, two) and setter Brianna Schell (16 assists).

After breezing through the opening game, South Carroll faltered in Game 2. Led by all-county outside hitter Tara Lewis and Nicole Stover, the Titans (5-10) -- who advanced via a first-round bye -- jumped out to a 7-4 lead and later led 9-7.

From then on, however, it was all South Carroll, as the Cavaliers rallied for the final eight points to win the game, then rallied from a 4-2 deficit to score 13 of the final 14 points in game three.

"Once [South Carroll] got into that defensive mode, they were forcing things and started to make mistakes," said Einstein coach Ed Chandler. "In the end, though, they have more talent because we have a lot of sophomores."

Said Eaton: "We were inconsistent, but we were good enough."

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