WESTMINSTER — The Waves women's volleyball team found themselves in an unfamiliar situation Thursday en route to the Carroll County Women's Volleyball League post-season championship at East Middle School.
The first-year team actually lost a game during its match with runner-up Maggie's.
The Waves breezed through the 12-team league's regular season, not losing a match and finishing with a 32-1 record in games. The one game they lost came via forfeit when a couple of their players showed up late.
After handling Lehigh and Douglas Lawn in the first two rounds of the playoffs with relative ease, they faced Maggie's, which finished eighth in the regular season with a 14-19 mark.
The Waveswon a closely contested first game, 15-11. Jumping out to an 4-0 lead, the Waves had to hold off a late Maggie's surge for the win in game one.
The Waves' balanced attack and size at the net offset a solid performance from Maggie's Jolene Hoover -- who dominated the matchat times with powerful hits, dinks and nifty setting.
It looked like much of the same in game two when the Waves struck out to an early 5-3 lead. Maggie's came back with five straight points, keyed by the strong serving of Becky Martin.
Martin finished off game two with a service ace to give Maggie's a 15-8 win and even the match at a game apiece.
Considering it was the first non-forfeit loss of a game all year, the Waves had to wonder how they would respond.
Respond they did, fully dominating the final two games to capture the championship of the 18-and-over league.
"We let them intimidate us a little in that second game. After the game, we just said 'Let's go out and play our game,' " said Waves' hitter Tina Ray.
Ray, a former Francis Scott Key High standout, and Kelly Duppins were the Carroll connections for the team, based in Hanover, Pa.
The Waves jumped outto an 11-1 lead in game three and coasted by re-establishing themselves at the net with solid blocking and spikes. Ray, Duppins and CathyWolfe carried much of the load up front.
The final score in game three was 15-5. Things didn't get much better for Maggie's in game four.
The Waves jumped out to another early lead in the deciding game and enjoyed leads of 5-1 and 10-3 before putting Maggie's away by acount of 15-6.
After the solid showing in game two, Maggie's self-destructed in the final two games and the Waves were more than happyto take advantage.
The Waves "played a better team game with lessmistakes," said Martin. "Volleyball is a game of momentum. Our biggest downfall in the last two games was our serving and net (play)."