Top-ranked Severna Park too strong for Arundel, 3-0

But effort irks coach

`our focus broke down'


High Schools

October 10, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Usually "glowing pains" don't hurt as much as growing pains and are easier to overcome.

Such was the case in Gambrills last night as top-ranked Severna Park paid a visit and left with a lackluster 3-0 sweep of host Arundel in a matchup of unbeaten Anne Arundel County volleyball teams.

Severna Park, which improved its record to a glowing 10-0, was not focused. Arundel was, but the growing team was simply overmatched.

The 10th-ranked Wildcats (8-1), who have emerged as the county's biggest surprise after being hit hard by graduation, lost by scores of 15-7, 16-14 and 15-3.

Severna Park first-year coach Julie Allen was not pleased with her team's lack of intensity.

"We're getting to the toughest part of the season, and we have to learn how to play consistently and stay focused every game in order to do well in the playoffs," said Allen, whose biggest task as coach of the No. 1 team is making her players realize that they have to do more than just show up.

"Today our focus broke down. We have to stay focused all the way to the end. Playing consistently is probably going to be our biggest challenge."

Arundel started the season with a squad of no-names, having graduated its entire starting lineup. Coach Greg Legrand has all underclass starters this season.

"You can't get any younger than we are with three freshmen on varsity, two of them starters," said Legrand, who has only two seniors. "We're going to be around for a while. It's just getting used to these big games. You're not going to get there as fast against a team as powerful as Severna Park overnight."

Falling behind 6-0 in the first game, the Wildcats rode the serving of junior Amanda Hernandez and the hitting of freshman Alex McGuire to rally before losing 15-7.

The effort carried over as the Wildcats led 14-11 in Game 2, but the visitors finished strong to win, 16-14.

The second-game comeback by the Falcons killed Arundel's spirit, and Severna Park rolled in the third game, 15-3.

"It seems like it's hard for us to focus at the beginning, but usually by the second and third games we come together," said senior setter Megan Boyd, who led the Falcons with 14 assists and five kills and was 8-for-10 serving.

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