CHEN rises to occasion in volleyball

Team wins national title, is 2nd in private schools


High Schools

November 13, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

The CHEN volleyball team completed the best season in the history of the Christian Home Educators Network athletic program by winning the national home school championship and then finishing second in the Maryland Private Schools Championships.

The No. 9 Bravehearts, who went 25-0 in best-three-of-five matches, fell to Washington's Maret School, 8-15, 15-12, 15-8, on Saturday in the state private schools tournament final in Frederick.

"The girls just ran out of gas a little bit," said CHEN coach Cary Lyon, who has only nine players. "That's not to take anything away from Maret, because they were a good team. We beat them [in the preliminaries], so it was two unbeatens beating each other."

Chelsea Lyon and Vanessa Happel had 34 kills each during the 16-game tournament while Bridget Thornton had 32. Grace Lyon finished with 51 assists, and Brittany Umetin contributed 42 assists. In one game, Roberta Holehouse won 14 straight points on her serve.

In the semifinals, the Bravehearts defeated St. Mary's-Ryken, 15-12, 10-15, 15-4, after sweeping Sidwell Friends, 15-11, 15-7, in the quarterfinals

The previous weekend, the Bravehearts traveled to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., for the National Christian Home Athletic Association Tournament.

The only one in the 16-team field from the East Coast, CHEN defeated Chippewa, Wis., 15-10, 15-1, in the final to win the national title for the first time in three appearances. The Bravehearts had finished second two years ago.

Chelsea Lyon, Happel, Thornton and Holehouse received all-tournament honors.

Volleyball trifecta?

Baltimore County has three chances to win a state volleyball championship with No. 2 Towson, No. 4 Dulaney and No. 12 Loch Raven all advancing to this week's semifinals at CCBC-Essex.

The Generals play Lackey in a Class 2A match at 8 p.m. tomorrow. Last year's 4A champion Lions meet defending 3A champion Northern-Calvert at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

The Raiders also face a defending state champion when they meet Smithsburg at 8 tonight.

Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard and Loch Raven coach Carol McPherson have each taken their teams to titles - the past two 4A crowns for the Lions and three between 1987 and 1994 for the Raiders. Towson coach Jayne Lacy and the Generals go for their first-ever title after reaching the semifinals last year.

First-year Western coach Cassandra Melton has never coached a state championship team, but she has played on one, helping Severna Park to the 4A crown in 1991.

The Doves, who meet Eleanor Roosevelt in a Class 4A semifinal, are aiming to win Baltimore City's first volleyball championship. The Doves are the only city team ever to reach the state tournament, having made their last appearance in 1994.

Football seedings shuffled

Some local football coaches and fans believe that Bowie intentionally lost Saturday's Prince George's County game to Crossland to get a more advantageous seeding in the 4A state football tournament.

Crossland's 21-17 victory affected two local teams: No. 6 Broadneck (9-1) and No. 13 Patterson (9-1). They expected to play each other before the upset.

Had Bowie (8-2), which already had clinched its first playoff berth since 1987, defeated the Cavaliers (4-6), the Bulldogs would have been the fifth seed and would be playing at No. 4 seed Gaithersburg, the defending state champion from Montgomery County.

By losing, the Bulldogs fell to sixth seed and travel to Morgan State to play third-seeded Patterson. Broadneck went from sixth seed to fifth and the Bruins will travel to Gaithersburg.

"We had already exchanged game films with Broadneck expecting to play them before Bowie lost," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn. "It was quite a surprise to everyone."

Bowie coach Scott Chadwick, who suspended five starters before the game for cutting school Friday, denies the allegations. Chadwick said he tried to win with substitutes he wanted to play.

Ned Sparks, the executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said he received several phone calls questioning the result and its ramifications.

"It looks suspicious, but there is nothing concrete to prove it was intentional," Sparks said.

Sun staff writer Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

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