Roosevelt sweeps Western's title hopes away

Class 4A volleyball

November 14, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For about a half-hour last night, the Western volleyball team looked like it might make history. But after the Doves stormed to a big early lead, their dreams of becoming the first city school to reach a volleyball state championship match crashed hard.

Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County erased a seven-point deficit in the first game, and then easily took the last two to sweep Western, 18-16, 15-5, 15-5, in the second Class 4A semifinal match at CCBC-Essex.

Roosevelt (15-3), which won its fifth straight match, advanced to its second state final, and first since 1986.

The Raiders will next face Broadneck (16-3) at 5 p.m. Saturday at CCBC-Catonsville in the 4A title match. In the earlier semifinal, the Bruins came from behind to defeat Gaithersburg of Montgomery County in five games.

Western (14-3), the five-time defending Baltimore city champion, was making its third appearance in the state semifinals and first since 1994. The Doves are the only city school to ever make the state semifinals.

After the match was delayed by 85 minutes as a result of the length of the Broadneck-Gaithersburg match, Western took a big lead in an exciting first game, and had a game point before losing.

The Doves raced to a 6-0 lead after kills by junior Jerrie Hicks and Cheyenne Bedd, a net violation on the Raiders and three Roosevelt errors. The Doves held their biggest advantage at 12-5 after an ace by sophomore Bethany Sloat.

But after an ace by senior setter Josette Wiggins gave Western a 13-7 lead, Roosevelt came back with a 7-0 run on the strength of five kills by senior middle hitter Karin Smith to take a 14-13 lead.

The two teams then exchanged leads twice and were tied three times before an ace by senior outside hitter Maryanna McConnell and a kill by senior outside hitter Maggie Kielman closed the game out.

In the second game, Western led 5-3 before Roosevelt seized control. The Raiders won 10 straight points to close it out, and won six straight to take the advantage in the third. Leading 14-5, Roosevelt finished it on its fourth match point when, off the Doves' third hit, the ball rolled on top of the net and fell back on the Western side.

"The girls came out really hard, and they showed in the first game they deserved to be here," Western coach Cassandra Melton said. "They played the best that they have ever played, and I'm happy these girls saw they could play this way."

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