After taking two close games from No. 4-ranked Severna Park in last night's Class 4A state semifinals at Community College of Baltimore County-Essex, Montgomery Blair bounced back from a 12-15 defeat to win the fourth game in a 15-3 rout and advance to the state final against Dulaney.
The Blazers, from Montgomery County, won by 15-13 and 16-14 before bowing in the third game for a 2-1 lead, but romped in the fourth to move into the Saturday's 5 p.m. state championship match at CCBC-Catonsville.
Lisa Weir and Nicole Reed, both seniors, did the most damage for the winners, along with 5-foot-11 junior Rebecca Segal.
Montgomery Blair (17-2) upset defending 4A state champion Walt Whitman in the West Region final to move into last night's semifinal. Severna Park (15-4) advanced to the final four for the sixth time in the '90s by waltzing through the 4A East Region.
Despite a total rebuilding season -- eight of its players, three of them starters, were on last year's JV team -- Severna Park, state champ in 1991-93, had a chance to play in the state final for the seventh time in the 13 years that Tim Dunbar has been head coach.
Since 1991. when the Falcons claimed their first state crown under Dunbar, they have either won it all or lost in the playoffs to the eventual state champion.
Dunbar was uncharacteristically upset during last night's first match and, after Blair's final, 3-1 decision, vented his dismay at the scorer's table.
The Falcons' coach felt the official scorer had taken away a crucial point in the first game that changed the complexion of the match.
As upset as he was, the Severna Park coach did not totally blame the point controversy for his team's defeat.
"I'm proud of my kids because we lost five starters and still got here, " said Dunbar.
"They [Blair] buckled down and made the plays and we did not. We just did not finish in the first two games, which we could have won. And that really was the difference. Of course, it didn't help that we missed 25 serves, especially when you're winning two games.
"You can't win against better teams like that."
Sophomore Megan Boyd (19-for-21),and seniors Lauren Briggs (13-15), Natalie Hicks (12-15) and Megan Medford (10-12) were the bright spots serving. Sophomore middle hitter Lauren Klau delivered 12 kills and senior Lauren Bessire had nine.