Digital Harbor ousted

Havre de Grace also loses in 1A semifinals


November 15, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special To The Sun

COLLEGEPARK -- Havre de Grace and Digital Harbor found trouble in last night's Class 1A state volleyball semifinals.

Digital Harbor started well, then quickly faded as Rising Sun rolled to a 25-15, 25-6, 25-5 victory at Comcast Center. No. 11 Havre de Grace played the second match, and while the Warriors fared a little better, Southern of Garrett County handed them a 25-16, 25-18 25-19 defeat.

Rising Sun and Southern will play in the 1A state title match Saturday at 5 p.m. at Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.

Digital Harbor(14-3) came out with fire, hustling all over the court and making Rising Sun (15-3) work in the first game. Rising Sun struggled to take a 15-13 lead in the first game before taking over.

The Tigers took advantage of some Digital Harbor mistakes and slowly began getting their offense going while scoring 10 of the next 12 points to win the game. That seemed to shake up the Rams.

Rising Sun scored 60 of the match's 73 points and needed only 49 minutes to end the Rams' first trip to the state final four. The Tigers lost in last year's state final four.

"We've got to get used to playing at a higher level," said Digital Harbor coach Monica Dailey.

The Rams had no answer for Rising Sun's offense, once the Tigers began getting the ball to the net effectively. Rising Sun placed its hits all over the court, something it couldn't do in the first game.

Despite Dailey's repeated pleas to get the ball to the setter, Digital Harbor couldn't do it. The Rams had problems handling the Tigers' serves and hits and never got going on offense.

Rising Sun held a 23-4 edge in kills. The Tigers also posted 19 assists while the Rams got none. In addition, Rising Sun had a 20-2 advantage in service aces.

Marjorie Detres and Tierra White had two kills apiece for Digital Harbor.

Havre de Grace (16-3) had similar problems, never finding an answer for Southern's power at the net, specifically Sarah Stephens (seven kills) and Paula Renteria, along with the Rams' defense.

Setter Jillian Umetin (15 assists) plus hitters Claire Sheldon (10 kills) and Emily Hall played well for Havre de Grace, but it wasn't enough. Havre de Grace coach Angie Taddia also said the large group of very loud Southern fans that made the four-hour trip definitely hurt.

"The crowd was a factor," Taddia said. "We were psyched out, [but] they didn't beat us. We made the mistakes."

The Warriors finished with 21 errors overall, compared to Southern's 11. In addition, the Rams had 16 aces, while Havre de Grace totaled only eight.

Southern (18-0) swept the final two games.

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