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 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. That was Severna Park's 12th appearance in the state tournament, and the Falcons have been to nine finals, winning 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. "Everybody questions us, because we do have a weak schedule in Baltimore County."
Don't count Dunbar among those who question Dulaney's ability. He was impressed despite the fact that his Falcons committed 17 serving errors.
"To win in volleyball, you have to, at some point, go on some sort of run where you score four to six points during one service rotation," said Dunbar. "We missed too many serves after it was so good on Tuesday [33-for-34 serving in 3-0 win over Southern-AA]. Our serving betrayed us today."
That was especially true in the first game, when the Lions took advantage of inept serving by their opponent to jump out 14-5 before closing at 15-10.
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 Falcons dominated the middle, with hitters Lauren Bessire (15 kills), Lauren Briggs (13) and Liz Carriker (eight) for the win.
But 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