Dulaney won Round 1 yesterday of what winning coach Ian Blanchard hopes will become an annual match with Severna Park.
The No. 3-ranked Lions from Baltimore County bested the No. 4 ranked Falcons of Anne Arundel County, 3-1, on the latter's home court, with scores of 15-10, 7-15, 15-8 and 15-10 in the first regular-season meeting between the two.
"We weren't on our game, but that was largely due to their couple of real tough servers who put us on our heels, and they had a lot of weapons to attack," Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar said. "They forced us to do things we didn't do well."
Setter Erin Reinhardt was a perfect 14-for-14 serving, and hitters Leanne Costa (four aces) and Lindsay Lawson (two) had 10 kills each to pace the Lions (7-0).
"I'm real proud of the way the kids hung together, because it's tough to come into a hostile environment," said Blanchard, who is in his third season as coach.
"Tim [Dunbar] and I get along real well, and I said, 'You're coming to my gym next year,' and he said, 'Yep. It's great for the kids to see how they react under pressure.' "
The only other time the Lions and Falcons (5-3) played was in the state semifinals in 1979 with Severna Park victorious.
Both teams advanced out of their respective regions to last year's Class 4A state semifinals, where Severna Park topped Bowie and the Lions lost to Montgomery County's Whitman, which then swept the Falcons for the title. Severna Park has won five state championships, three under Dunbar. Dulaney has been eliminated in state semifinals six times.
"Winning here today, it finally gives us [credibility] and shows that maybe Dulaney does belong in the top five," said Blanchard.
The Lions took advantage of inept serving by their opponent to jump out 14-5 before closing at 15-10 in the first game.
Things picked up for the Falcons in the second game as they took their first lead of the match at 5-4 and never trailed again on the way to a 15-7 triumph.
The Lions came out smoking in the third game on blistering hits and drives by Lawson and Lynn Perkins to build an 11-3 lead and coast, 15-8.
Pub Date: 10/08/99