Francis Scott Key volleyball fans refer to them as 'The Four S's."
All season long, the combination of Kim Sheedy, Samantha Stambaugh, Jennifer Sawyer and Adria Stonesifer have given area opponents fits with their big hitting ability and dominance at the net.
Last night, visiting Fallston became the latest victim.
Stambaugh had 10 kills and Sawyer added seven aces, as the No. 5-ranked Eagles easily disposed of the Harford County Cougars, 15-4, 15-0, 16-14.
Coming off a crucial four-game victory over Monocacy Valley Athletic League rival Williamsport on Thursday, Key showed the form, at least through most of the match, that it believes will carry it far into the upcoming playoffs.
"We looked good tonight," said Eagles coach Alice Smith, whose lone criticism was inconsistent serving. "My middle hitters have got their timing. They're reading things better and they're varying their hitting. We've worked on that all season. Now it's just a matter of getting their precision down."
That's just what the Eagles (10-2) did throughout the first two games, taking an 8-0 lead in the first and never allowing a point in the second. The Cougars appeared overmatched, unable to handle the hard serving of Sawyer, who in the opening game put together four straight aces, or the net play of 6-footers Stambaugh, Sheedy and Stonesifer.
Setter Carrie Ness also had 21 assists for the hosts.
With Key substituting liberally in the third game, Fallston (5-7) made a run. Led by the hitting of Sarah Ruls and Kristin Symes, and serving of Kat Getz, the Cougars took a 12-1 lead. Tied at 14, however, the Eagles ended any hopes of a comeback by taking the final two points.
"We just weren't mentally in it," said Sawyer of the final game. "We weren't focused."
Now for the Eagles, it's back-to-back dates with Walkersville to close out the regular season. Win the second one on Monday -- the first doesn't count in league standings -- and the Eagles will clinch at least a share of the MVAL title.
Then it's the playoff opener Nov. 5 at home against Linganore, followed by what may well be yet another match with Walkersville, owner of a first-round bye, just three days later.
Pub Date: 10/26/99