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Wildcats turn it up vs. North

September 16, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

WILLIAMSPORT - Right now, the only thing not on in the Williamsport High School gymnasium is the microphone system.

That's all right, though. The volleyball team is making plenty of noise.

After falling behind 3-0 in Game 1, No. 7 Williamsport came to life, stomping No. 4 North 15-6, 15-7, 15-4 Tuesday night in a matchup of Monocacy Valley Athletic League favorites.

"We knew that North was going to be a tough team to play, and the girls were just getting the jitters out on the first few points," Williamsport coach Kristi Gee said. "Once we got into our rhythm, things started to flow our way."

It felt more like a tidal wave for the Hubs, who were sunk after their fast start.

"We just kept making mistake after mistake," North coach Tracy McKinsey said. "And it wasn't just one person."

It wasn't just one person on the Williamsport (2-0, 2-0 MVAL) side of the net, either. The Wildcats were in perfect harmony, their 6-2 offense moving so well it sometimes resembled a 6-6.

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"I don't have a big bench, but I can go to anyone," Gee said. "I think it's a good advantage, because they don't where the set is going to go on a big play."

North (0-2, 0-2), meanwhile, relies on the hitter-setter duo of Erica Datillio and Nicole Morgan, and they were out of sync all night, ending with a combined three kills in the final two games. McKinsey tried changing the offense to spark her players, but it was no use.

"We tried to a little bit," McKinsey said, "but with both setters not having a great night, we didn't."

The Wildcats capitalized on winning several long rallies to string together points at will. Williamsport had a seven-point run to take the lead in Game 1, and closed that game with a 6-0 spurt. They blew open games 2 and 3 with seven- and eight-point runs.

Through it all, the team's defense was the key, as the Wildcats kept digging up ball after ball until North made an error.

"We try to work it so our block is set for our defenders," Gee said. "We allow the ball to get by the block because we know our defender is there. We really stress in practice to trust the defense behind them."

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