CHAPEL HILL, N.C., JULY 20 -- International rules in volleyball dictate a atch be best-of-five games. That's too long for most of the fans sitting on Carmichael Auditorium's metal benches and they leave after the first one or two games.

Too bad. Those who came to watch women's volleyball, and especially those who stayed, have been treated to some of the best action of the U.S. Olympic Festival.

Bodies sprawled or rolled on the floor, then leapt and smashed 80-mph overhead shots that Martina Navratilova would be proud of. Mistakes were often made, as can be expected with teen-agers, strangers who overnight become teammates. But the most improbable saves and spikes kept players and spectators on a roller coaster of emotions.

In Sunday's North-West match, what appeared would be a quick decision, after West's 15-3 first game, unexpectedly went the distance, to a fifth game. The North eked by, 16-14, in the second game but did not look capable of sustaining the momentum. Yet, North won out, 3-2.

"I thought they {the North team} were a flash in the pan when they won the second game," said a woman whose daughter plays on a local junior team. "But I've changed sides. You've got to love an underdog."

Michelle Jaworski of Potomac hasn't gotten any playing time yet. She is a member of the powerful South squad that led the second-day standings, 2-0.

She was hoping to play some tonight. "I guess this gives an indication how I compare with the rest of the players in the country, I don't know," she said. "But I'm just 18, there's still some time."

North Carolina sophomore-to-be J.R. Reid scored 14 points, including a free throw with 22 seconds left, to help the undefeated South over the East, 77-76, in basketball at the Dean Smith Center.

The East's Dennis Scott, a Georgia Tech recruit from Flint Hill prep, missed off the front rim on a three-point attempt to tie with four seconds left and teammate Greg Koubek grabbed the rebound and hit a short jumper to produce the final score.

The South (3-0), which had already clinched a spot in Wednesday's gold medal game, knocked Coach Lefty Driesell's East out of title contention. The North, by virtue of the best scoring ratio among the three teams tied at 1-2, beat the East and West out of the crack at the gold.

In the afternoon, the West out-schoolyard-balled the North, 109-103.

In the women's afternoon game, the West won, 64-50, over the North and qualified for the gold medal game against the South, which beat the East tonight, 85-66.

Middleweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard attended Sunday night's boxing competition at Raleigh Civic Center. Asked if there was anyone he was interested in fighting, Leonard quipped, "I would fight {heavyweight} Mike Tyson if he was anorexic -- but that's the only way." As for the experience of winning an Olympic gold medal, Leonard said, "Next to being on a Wheaties box, it's the best."

Jessie Grieco, 13, of Emerson, N.J., who on the weekend became the youngest cyclist ever to win two Festival gold medals, was second in today's time trial behind Christi Fugman of Schnecksville, Pa.

Steve Alschuler of Skokie, Ill., won the men's 6.2-mile time trial.

Andy Gabel, 22, of Northbrook, Ill., set a Festival record, taking the gold medal in the men's 1,500-meter indoor speed skating in Greensboro in 2:36.51. In the women's 1,500, Maura D'Andrea, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., won in 2:51.00.

Dave Pavlacic, Florissant, Mo., the 1,500 runner-up (2:36.71), won the 500 for the third straight Festival, in 47.62 seconds. The women's 500 went to Kristen Talbot, Schuylerville, N.Y., in 52.37.

Steve Leach of the Washington Capitals is one of two National Hockey League players invited to the U.S. Olympic team tryout and training camp to begin Aug. 7 in Lake Placid, N.Y. From the 80 players here in the Olympic Festival, about 30 will be invited.