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Smithsburg sweeps to Hub Classic tourney win

September 12, 1998|By JACK HILL III

The Smithsburg volleyball team had a successful start to its season this week, at the expense of North Hagerstown.

On Tuesday, Smithsburg defeated North in its season-opening match.

On Saturday, the Leopards beat the Hubs again, 15-9, 15-9, in the championship match of the Second Annual Hub Classic Volleyball Tournament at North.

North has had a strong program in the 1990s, winning four region titles in the past five years.

"It feels good to beat a team the caliber of North two times in one week," Smithsburg coach Jim Klein said. "North is a scrappy, defensive team. We had to fight out many long rallies to overcome them."

During the first game, Casey Nogle scored six straight points, and Carey Brennan added three points in a row to help Smithsburg build a 10-2 advantage. After that, North gradually chipped away, reducing the deficit to 12-8. But Smithsburg eventually got the game point on a service ace by freshman Jenelle Stouffer.

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In the second game, the Leopards leaped to an 8-1 lead, with Brennan scoring four of the points. But the Hubs fought back to narrow the gap to 11-9. The Leopards then scored the final four points to win the game. Kelly Ashley had the first point, and then her younger sister, Heather, followed with the last three. Heather Ashley got a service ace on the game point to clinch the match and the tournament title.

"What impressed me the most about Smithsburg was their hitting," North coach Tracy McKinsey said. "They hit hard, and they have a great offense. It is hard to play a defense against such a hard-hitting team. I felt the tournament went really well. We had our ups and downs. But overall, we played pretty good."

The All-Tournament Team was Rachel Bachtell and Brennan (Smithsburg), Erica Dattilio and Nicole Morgan (North), Sarah Conner (Grace Academy), Jennifer Piccolomini (St. Maria Goretti), Nikki Woodsmall and Mary Meister (Hedgesville), Eileen Hissong (Shalom Christian) and Julie Mendez (Hampshire).

North (8-0) and Hedgesville (6-2) finished as the top two teams in Pool A, while Smithsburg (7-1) and Grace Academy (5-3) were the top two teams in Pool B.

In the semifinals, Smithsburg swept Hedgesville 15-4, 15-12, while North swept Grace Academy, 15-4, 15-1.

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