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Smithsburg uses subs to torpedo, sweep Catoctin

September 18, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Jim Klein didn't see what he was accustomed to seeing, but what the Smithsburg volleyball coach did see put a smile on his face.

Normally, Klein would watch Carey Brennan leap high above the net for a kill, or Rachel Bachtell dive to the floor for a dig for more than an hour.

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But there wasn't much of that Thursday night as the starters played just the first game of the Leopards' 15-2, 15-8, 15-2 demolition of Catoctin in a non-league game which lasted just 42 minutes.

"Our bench has proven they can come into a game in certain situations and give us what we need," said Klein. "Tonight, we wanted to see production in key situations, and in very specific parts of the game, and our juniors and freshmen performed well above our expectations in all three games."

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Smithsburg's domination was evident from the start of the first game, as Bachtell and Brennan combined for 12 service points for a 14-1 Leopards lead, before freshman Heather Ashley served the final point.

The opportunity to rest the starters for the last two games worked out perfectly for Klein.

"The big key tonight was that we were allowed to rest some nagging injuries, and try to get some people healthy," said the Smithsburg coach. "Our practice regimen is so severe that there won't be any ill effects. We practiced for three hours (Wednesday) night. A game like this can only help us be more prepared for tight situations in the future."

While the final score of the second game was closer, the Leopards led throughout. And after Smithsburg claimed a 6-3 advantage, the Cougars could get no closer as Ashley, Jenelle Stouffer and Katy Hornbecker led the way with three service points apiece.

Catoctin took its only lead of the evening, 1-0, to open the third game, but Cary McGuire answered with nine straight service points (including four aces) to blow it open for the Leopards.

McGuire finished with 15 service points and four aces to pace Smithsburg (3-0), which - including the junior varsity's 15-1 and 15-2 wins - outscored the Cougars 75-15 in five games.

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