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Woodsmall, Eagles tinker with No. 1 spot

September 23, 1998

Hedgesville over BulldogsBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Nicki Woodsmall could be considered the Miss Goodwrench of the Hedgesville volleyball team. Her play certainly threw a monkey wrench into the Herald-Mail volleyball rankings.

With 42 assists and 14 service points, Woodsmall carried the No. 9 Eagles to a 15-7, 16-14, 15-10 sweep over cross-county rival and No. 1-ranked Martinsburg, putting the top spot in the poll up for grabs.

"She's a senior, and she provides a lot of leadership on the court as well as off the court," said Hedgesville coach Susan Davis. "She picks everybody up."

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After coming from behind to capture the first game, the Eagles (5-5) surged to a 4-0 advantage to open Game 2 behind four Woodsmall service points, eventually expanding the lead to 10-5.

But Martinsburg (7-8) came storming back on eight straight Emily Baker service points for a 13-10 edge, as LaToya Parks established her presence at the net with three kills and a block.

During that run, however, Martinsburg setter Denise Mong went down with a sprained ankle, which coach Terra Bain saw as the beginning of the end.

"We lost our momentum when (Mong) went down," said Bain. "We eventually realized we could play (without her). We showed some unity and hung in there, but that hurt us."

Three service points from Erica Anders tied the score at 13, and the game was knotted again at 14 before Brooke Ferguson served the final two points with Carrie Spies getting the game-winning kill.

"We played with a little more momentum and enthusiasm (after Game 2)," said Davis. "We were able to overcome problems which, up to this point, we haven't done. This makes all those one-point games we let slip away (earlier in the season) a lot easier to take."

The Bulldogs grabbed the early lead in the first game, 6-3, but watched Hedgesville take control by reeling off 12 of the next 13 points, with Ferguson serving the final four points.

When the Eagles established control in the final game, again it was Woodsmall who served three straight service points for a 7-5 Hedgesville advantage. The lead grew to 13-6 before Martinsburg scored four straight to trim the gap to 13-10. But two Mary Meister service points and a Ferguson kill put it away for the Eagles.

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