Towson unseats Dulaney for crown

Generals end Lions' run in Baltimore County

High Schools

Volleyball

November 01, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Towson's volleyball players went into last night's Baltimore County championship match with something they did not have a year ago -- the belief that they could dethrone defending champion Dulaney.

That confidence paid off as the No. 3 Generals swept No. 2 Dulaney, 15-8, 15-7, 15-13, for their first county championship since 1966.

The Generals (14-1) not only ended Dulaney's four-year run as county champs, but also dealt the Lions (12-2) their first loss to a county foe since Nov. 7, 1997.

For Towson, playing with almost the same cast that fell to Dulaney in four games in last year's final, the confidence came with a year of experience and a pair of victories over defending state champions in the highly competitive Bulldog Tournament three weeks ago.

"Playing against Northern [of Calvert] and Centennial and beating both of them gave us a lot of confidence," said Generals setter Michelle Clarke, who had 23 assists last night. "We decided we were going to play as hard as we could and never give up, and we came out on top."

Said Towson senior Stephanie Kines: "Last year, we were a little shaky in the confidence department. [Last night], we weren't as intimidated as we thought we were going to be. Michelle did an awesome job distributing the offense, and when the hitters had the opportunity, they put it away."

The Generals attacked especially well from the middle, where Kines and Emily Berman had 13 kills each and also combined for 11 blocks. The Lions, who got 11 kills from outside hitter Veronica Briggs, had trouble countering Towson's middle without Jen Wylie.

The junior, who returned a couple weeks ago from a broken foot, broke her right foot again Tuesday in practice. That left the Lions with only seven players. Setter Bruna Fonseca hit her head on the bleachers and jammed her right wrist in the first game diving for a ball, but she played on.

The Lions, most of whom play club ball with several of the Generals, had leads in the second and third games, but could not put them away.

In the finale, Kristin Schmidt's kill gave the Lions a 12-10 lead, but Kines broke the momentum by tipping the ball into the open right front court. Dulaney led again 13-12 after Sarah McKinley blocked Katie Gwiazdowski, but the Generals reeled off the last three points on Dulaney errors.

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