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Wildcats deliver repeat performance

November 13, 1996

By CURT HORNBECKER

Staff Correspondent

ESSEX, Md. - Ann Fulk's serves probably appeared more like rockets. And returning those serves probably seemed more like rocket science to Edgewood's volleyball team.

Fulk's 14 service points, including 10 straight in the first game, catapulted Williamsport to a 15-1, 15-10, 15-7 sweep over Edgewood in the Maryland Class 1A state semifinals at Essex Community College Tuesday night.

Williamsport has not lost a game in tournament play this year.

With the first game tied at 1-1, the Wildcats senior served 10 successive points, seven of which were not returned to jettison Williamsport into a repeat of last year's state finals against Francis Scott Key.

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The rematch will be Saturday at Catonsville Community College. FSK swept Colonel Richardson 15-5, 15-11, 15-6 Tuesday night.

"I think (the 10 straight points) helped loosen everybody up," said Fulk, "but we would have eventually gotten there."

"It definitely took some of the pressure off," added Wildcats coach Kristi Hart. "Tonight, Ann was really on, and we got some good serves from the other girls as well. We had some problems in the second game, but came back to play well in game three."

Appearing in its 14th state tournament, Williamsport (18-1) sailed through the first game, and began substituting liberally in the second. At the same time, the Rams - making their first-ever appearance in the tournament - began to get on track behind the net play of Karly Crawford and Erica Turner.

With the score knotted at six, Williamsport's Molli Moyer served four straight points, but the Rams (15-3) rallied to close the gap to 10-9 before the Wildcats scored five of the game's last six points.

"When our serving is not there," said Hart, "the other phases of our game suffer. Our serving has carried us all year, and hopefully it will carry us through (Saturday's) game."

The Wildcats broke out to an 8-1 advantage in the third game behind a pair of Donna Hudson kills before Moyer closed it out with three straight points.

Experience certainly worked in Williamsport's favor against the Rams, but the Wildcats faced FSK in the tournament finals last year, so that won't be much of a factor in Saturday's match-up.

"It's nice to have six (starters) who have experience playing in the state tournament," said Hart. "They've felt the pressure, and hopefully they can lead the team. There's a big difference between this gym and the gyms we're used to playing in."

"It's tough to judge the ball when the ceiling is so high," said Fulk. "And the floor was slippery, too. (The floor) was just dirty, but it seemed like all our feet would do is slide."

The win sets-up an interesting scenario in the finals. FSK defeated the Wildcats in the regular season last year, but lost the title game. This season, Williamsport defeated the Eagles in the regular season.

"I just don't want the girls to be nervous (Saturday)," said Hart. "If we come out and play the way we demonstrated we can play, I think we'll be OK."

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