Towson dominates in middle and ousts Lackey

Generals take advantage of absence of blocker

Class 2A volleyball

November 15, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After No. 2 Towson ran up a 6-0 lead in the first game of last night's state Class 2A volleyball semifinal against Lackey, the Generals' fans began chanting, "It's all over. It's all over."

They weren't exactly right, but they weren't far off.

About 40 minutes later, the Generals emerged with a 15-1, 15-9, 15-5 victory at CCBC-Essex to advance to the state final for the first time since 1977.

"We're all really excited," said Towson setter Michelle Clarke. "This is what we've been working for all season. From the start, our goal was to get to states to and win states."

Last year, the Generals made it to the state semifinals only to be eliminated by eventual champion Centennial. This time, Glenelg knocked four-time defending champ Centennial out in the regional semifinals.

The Generals (18-1) will meet No. 5 Glenelg for the title Saturday at noon at CCBC-Catonsville.

Last night, the Generals won their 18th straight match with a dominating middle presence. Middle hitters Stephanie Kines and Emily Berman had 10 kills each and they faced, at most, a single blocker.

"Stephanie and I had to take advantage of that," said Berman, a 6-1 junior. "Without a block, we can put it away easily. We both did what we needed to do."

With the middle dominance established, Clarke, who finished with 28 assists, used all her options, going outside, especially later in the match, to Ashley Windisch (seven kills) and Katie Gwiazdowski (five).

"Without a big block in the middle, our middles are pretty experienced, so they were able to hit around the one block," said Clarke, "especially since they were a lot bigger than the other girls."

The Generals rolled up a 13-0 lead in the first game behind four kills by the 5-11 Kines. The Chargers (15-4) had little to counter her and Berman with their tallest player at 5-8.

As they closed out the game, the Generals made their only mistakes from the service line, which was the only area in which they struggled the entire match, making 12 service errors.

On the whole, however, the Generals had much more to be happy about.

"It feels good," said Berman. "Last year, it was not good at all. It was such a letdown after such a good season. Then this season, knowing we beat Centennial [at the Bulldog Tournament] and them getting out of it, it was such a big relief. Winning this feels right."

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