Western pulls region reversal, defeats Perry Hall for crown 4A North volleyball


Since Western and Perry Hall met in last year's region final, the Doves titled yesterday's volleyball match "Western-Perry Hall, Part II."

This time, however, Western liked the ending.

Top seed and unranked Western paid back No. 9 and second seed Perry Hall for the loss in last year's region final with a 15-2, 15-12, 12-15, 15-8 home victory in the Class 4A North title match.

Western (16-1 with 16 straight wins) advances to the state semifinals Wednesday at Watkins Mill High School at 5 or 7 p.m.

Perry Hall (14-3) swept the Doves in three games last year, and Western coach Shirley Williams said her team wanted to show their fans something.

"It was basically that we wanted to come in and show how we could play," said Williams. "We wanted to come out and play our best ball."

And they did. The Doves did a little bit of everything right. They passed effectively, set well and controlled play at the net.

All of this was apparent in the opening game, where to say Western was in control would be a tremendous understatement.

Western scored the first three points, and 12 of the first 13 on the way to a decisive victory.

The Doves used their height advantage to their advantage in the first game. Chanel Wright (5 feet 11), Renee Smith (5-11) and Danielle Davis (6-2) gave Perry Hall fits at the net.

"I think the height intimidated them," said Perry Hall coach Pam Wilt.

Perry Hall got going in the second game, taking leads of 8-4 and 11-7. Western then rallied, as Ayanna Jenkins served four straight to tie the game. Western, behind two aces from Davis, scored the last three points for the 15-12 victory.

The Gators won Game 3, but it wasn't easy. They jumped to a 12-0 lead behind the serving of Jamie Krauk and power of Jaime Jansen. Western then scored 12 of the next 13 to slice the lead to one, but Krauk served out the game.

Williams said the rally played a big factor in the Game 4 victory.

"Even though we lost, the momentum changed," Williams said.

Setter and captain Kim Osborne sparked the team in the final game. Osborne repeatedly made accurate sets to the tall trio at the net. Six of the team's points in the 15-8 victory were won at the net.

Osborne said the team definitely remembered last year, and it proved to be a spark.

"It played a big factor," Osborne said. "We talked about it. We knew the only way we could come out on top was to keep the intensity level up."

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