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Patriots advance in region

November 11, 2004|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

FREDERICK, Md. - Who said how you win isn't as important as winning itself?

The second-seeded Thomas Johnson volleyball team would likely disagree, especially after Wednesday's 25-18, 20-25, 30-28, 25-21 victory over third-seeded Westminster in the Class 4A North semifinals.

For the Patriots, it was all about how they won Game 3.

"That 30-28 game was a big momentum swing," TJ coach Jim Dorsch said. "That gave us a big advantage."

And understandably so, considering Westminster had come from five points down to win Game 2, and considering the third game saw no less than 17 lead changes.

In the end, the Pats relied on a sophomore to turn the tide.

Despite getting off to a slow start, Bethany Springer - who finished with 18 kills, two blocks and 10 service points - chipped in five kills in the last eight points, and secured the win with an ace from the service line.

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"Sometimes I start off a little slow," Springer said. "I felt really relaxed tonight, it just took a while to get into it."

The Owls (10-5) set up the critical third game by rallying from an 18-13 deficit in Game 2 behind nine straight service points by Stacey Davis. Amber Rex added three kills in the run that gave Westminster a 23-18 advantage.

It was Davis, whose five service points in the fourth game handed the Owls a 10-7 lead, but a 12-4 rally handed TJ (12-4) a 20-16 margin before two kills by Lauren Cline and one by Springer finished it off for the Pats.

"I think we were just more consistent (than Westminster) down the stretch," Dorsch said. "We weren't as consistent as I'd like to see us, I just think we made fewer errors down the stretch."

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