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Wildcats top No. 1 Leopards

October 06, 1998|By DAN KAUFFMAN

SMITHSBURG - There must have been a phone booth to change in.

For at least one match, Lettie Wilkes became Supergirl, serving five consecutive points in the final game, including consecutive aces, to rally No. 5 Williamsport to a 15-13, 10-15, 16-14, 15-6 upset of previously unbeaten No. 1 Smithsburg on Monday night.

"I wanted to boost the team's confidence to win the game," Wilkes said. "It takes teamwork and confidence to get fired up."

Wilkes' aces did just that, inspiring the Wildcats to win the last nine points to close it out.

"We have to play hard game by game," Wilkes said.

In this game, they did just that. In the process, the 'Cats gave coach Kristi Gee something to worry about.

Gee explained: "The girls were tired in the fourth game, but they concentrated to get points on the board. We could have lost control of the game."

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Gee gave credit to Wilkes' serving heroics and was pleased with the team effort. "Lettie took the pressure off us in the middle of the game, but every player did their role in winning this match."

After Wilkes gave Williamsport (6-1, 3-0 MVAL) an 11-6 lead, Barb Spoonire served three straight points, punctuated by Meghan Bowman and Meghan Andrews kills to give the Cats match point. But Spoonire's next serve flew long, giving the ball to Smithsburg.

But Bowman had a kill after a long rally to give the Wildcats another match point. Williamsport capitalized to finish the game.

"Getting the ball back immediately after losing it boosted our confidence," Gee said. "Smithsburg played a heck of a game."

The Wildcats won the first five and the last five points of Game 1. Smithsburg (7-1, 4-1) rallied in between, notching 13 of the next 18 points. It just wasn't enough.

In Game 2, Smithsburg roared back, scoring the final nine points. Casey Nogle lead the charge with three kills, and Carey Brennan and Rachel Bachtell had two kills each.

Game 3 turned into a dogfight, with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. With the Leopards holding a 14-13 lead, Williamsport got three straight points behind the serving of Wilkes and won when the kill attempt of Bachtell flew long.

"We didn't play our best game," Smithsburg coach Jim Klein said. "When we got down in the third game, we found it difficult to overcome mistakes."

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