River Hill puts away Dulaney

Surge carries No. 9 Hawks by unbeaten No. 3 Lions

Volleyball

High schools

October 24, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The River Hill volleyball team found its form yesterday at a critical time.

Tied with No. 3 Dulaney at two games each and with the score 6-6 in the fifth game of a nonconference matchup, the No. 9 Hawks won nine of the next 10 points to earn a 16-14, 7-15, 15-8, 9-15, 15-7 win, knocking the visitor from Baltimore County from the unbeaten ranks.

With the state playoffs looming, the win felt especially good for the Hawks (10-3). River Hill coach Sybil Modispacher said her team showed a resilience it lacked in losses to Centennial, Glenelg and Mount Hebron earlier this month.

"One, I feel great about the win, but most importantly, I feel better that we came from behind," Modispacher said. "We had moments when we were down and didn't let the other team destroy us like we had earlier this season."

The Lions (11-1) had no reason to hang their heads. Already playing against a Hawks team that was both bigger and deeper, Dulaney performed in much of the match without its setter Bruna Fonseca, who had a medical appointment in Baltimore and did not arrive at the River Hill gym until late in the third game. She didn't enter the contest until the fourth game.

Junior Alissa Dutrow, playing her first game as a setter, filled in admirably with 22 assists. And the Lions got a huge performance from senior Jennifer Wylie, who had 30 kills and factored in nearly every point.

After a sloppy effort in the second game, the Hawks were energized in the third by Briana Stephenson (10 kills). The 6-foot-2 junior scored two straight blocks to give River Hill an 8-2 lead.

The Hawks put the game away on two straight kills from junior Stephanie Jacobson and a kill by Stephenson on game point.

With Fonseca in the lineup for the fourth game, Dulaney broke open an 8-8 tie with five straight points, four of them coming from sophomore Kasey Crawford and Wylie. Crawford eventually served out the game.

After the Lions took a 6-5 advantage in the fifth game, River Hill rode Stephenson and senior Ali Kupec (10 kills) to the finish.

Two blocks by Stephenson and a kill, sandwiched around a Lions hitting error, made it 11-7, and a fired-up Kupec did the rest. She hit a cross-court kill to make it 12-7, then followed that with two spikes before a Dulaney hitting error closed the match.

"This was so sweet," Stephenson said. "Dulaney's a great team, and to pull off a win like that really gives us motivation going into the playoffs."

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