Severna Park serves up special win vs. Dulaney

46-match winning streak ends to No. 1 Falcons


September 29, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Severna Park senior setter Megan Boyd had expressed doubts before this season about how well her team would respond to first-year volleyball coach Julie Allen.

"I thought we were going to struggle in the beginning," Boyd said. "But Julie's been awesome. She's really meshed well with us. I'm surprised, and anxious for the rest of the season."

Last night, the top-ranked Falcons kept Allen's perfect coaching record intact with a 15-13, 13-15, 15-10, 15-9 victory over No. 2 Dulaney. Before a raucous home crowd, Severna Park improved to 7-0 and broke the two-time defending Class 4A champion Lions' 46-match winning streak. The last time Dulaney (6-1) had lost was in the 1998 state semifinals against eventual state champion Walt Whitman.

Boyd led the Falcons with 26 assists and three aces. Meanwhile, Towson University-bound seniors Lauren Klau and Christina Grempler had 12 and 10 kills, respectively, for a Severna Park team that has now defeated three of the state's top teams in Dulaney, Towson and Calvert.

"I'm very proud of them. This is a big win for us," said Allen, who was an All-Metro hitter at Severna Park in 1995 and was the middle hitter on the Falcons' 1993 4A title team. "I knew we would be strong. We've had some tough competition this year, and these girls play well against tough competition."

For Dulaney, senior outside hitter Veronica Briggs had 14 kills and six aces, and junior setter Bruna Fonseca recorded 17 assists and two kills. But Dulaney could not overcome its injuries and lack of depth.

The Lions played the match with just one substitute, because Fallon Bakalich did not make the trip and standout junior middle hitter Jennifer Wylie is out with a broken foot. Also, senior outside hitter Kristin Schmidt and Fonseca were struggling with obvious pain in the final two games of the match.

"We ran out of gas," said Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard, who expects to have Wylie back in two weeks. "I don't attribute the loss to that though. I attribute the loss to our lack of focus. We had opportunities to win the match and didn't. We had 30 service errors, and that is inexcusable."

Severna Park appeared to be vulnerable in the third game. With the match tied 1-1, Dulaney rushed to an 8-3 lead on the strength of Briggs' jump serve. Briggs hit two aces and forced mistakes in a four-point stretch to give her team a cushion.

Trailing 10-7, Severna Park closed with an 8-0 run to move ahead two games to one. Klau had three kills and Boyd had four assists during that stretch. Severna Park trailed 7-6 in the fourth game before closing the match on a 9-2 run.

"I'm still shaking from the game," Klau said 10 minutes afterward. "Julie is such a great coach. She's brought the fun and all the inspiration back into this team."

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