Key trips over service line in loss

16 misfired serves open door as Liberty prevails

Volleyball regional finals

November 08, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

At times, unranked Francis Scott Key looked more than capable of pulling off an upset over No. 7 Liberty in last night's Class 2A West regional final. It was at the service line, however, where the Eagles instead pulled up lame.

Needing to play its best volleyball to have a shot, Key misfired on 16 serves, including nine of 18 during one mid-game stretch, as host Liberty wrestled away control of the match in a 25-22, 13-25, 25-20, 25-17 win.

"We missed 15 serves in the match, and that just kills you," said Key coach Alice Rau.

Liberty (17-0) will advance to the Class 2A state semifinals Wednesday at CCBC-Essex, where it will face No. 5 Owings Mills, a three-game winner over No. 14 Poly in the North region. Top-ranked Glenelg waits in the wings as a potential finals opponent for the winner.

It will mark Liberty's third straight trip to the semifinals, though the Lions haven't advanced to the state finals since 1991. Francis Scott Key (14-3) was denied its first trip to the semifinals since 2000.

Lions coach Dave Trumbo, however, believes his team is ready to make a statement.

"In the last four weeks, we have taken so many steps to be a better team," said Trumbo. "In practice, we are incredible. I knew that if we played anything like how we play in practice ... we were going to win."

Meghan McConville (16 kills, two blocks) and Stacey Krebs (10 kills) paced Liberty. Key was led by Erin Jenkins (13 kills) and Jen Stambaugh (12 kills).

No. 5 Owings Mills def. No. 14 Poly, 25-11, 25-6, 25-13: The Eagles needed less than an hour to win the Class 2A North title and earn their first trip to the state semifinals in 11 years.

The Eagles (17-2) had little trouble dispatching the previously unbeaten Baltimore City champions, who were looking for their first trip to the state tournament. The Engineers (13-1) got four huge blocks from Erica Turnbull and two from Debora Alston, but they struggled with their offense all night.

Lindsey Wenderoth and Nicole Puller had seven kills each and Sarah Gordon had four for the Eagles. Stacey Wasserman dished out 15 assists. The Eagles also had 17 aces, seven from Joanna Kaufman.

No. 1 Glenelg def. Reservoir, 25-11, 25-22, 25-14: Junior outside hitter Rebecca Tursell and senior Michelle Morgan each had 10 kills for the defending state champion Gladiators (17-0), who captured the Class 2A South region title. Senior setter Tara Stradling added a team-high 28 assists for host Glenelg.

Class 4A

No. 3 Broadneck def. Patuxent, 25-9, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17: Senior Mandy Gerolstein had 14 kills, Christina Greene had eight kills, three aces and seven digs, and sophomore setter Stephanie Carey had 34 assists for the host Bruins (16-1), who won the Class 4A East region championship and will face Bowie in the state semifinals Tuesday at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.

Class 3A

No. 2 Towson def. Catonsville, 25-9, 25-16, 24-26, 25-18: Kellie Krouse had 20 kills, Laura Maas added 19 and Kate Davis had 28 assists to lead the visiting Generals (18-0) to the Class 3A North title. Towson will meet Seneca Valley Wednesday in the state semifinals at Ritchie Coliseum.

No. 4 Centennial def. No. 10 Mount Hebron, 25-17, 25-14, 25-13: Senior Erika Swan had 15 kills and four aces and sophomore Jenn Feldmann had 30 assists to lead the visiting Eagles (17-2) to the Class 3A East title, their 11th region title since 1989. Centennial will play Calvert Wednesday at Ritchie Coliseum.

Class 1A

Loch Raven def. Sparrows Point, 23-25, 25-21, 25-3, 25-9: Senior outside hitter Ashley Mertens had 10 kills and senior Megan Battle won 15 straight points on her serve in a pivotal and dominant third game, as the host Raiders (12-6) earned the Class 1A North region title.

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