Leopards spot comeback vs. South

October 09, 1998

Smithsburg over SouthBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

SMITHSBURG - There was an alarm that sounded not long after the Smithsburg volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season Monday against Williamsport.

At least Rachel Bachtell heard it.

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Bachtell's net play sparked the Leopards to a 15-3, 15-8, 15-9 sweep over South Hagerstown Thursday night in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League contest.

"After we lost to Williamsport," said Bachtell, "we wanted to show people that we really are good."

But the Rebels didn't go down without a fight. Trailing 5-1 in Game 2, South rallied for four of the next five points, and managed to hold the Leopards scoreless on their next six serving opportunities. At the same time, however, the Rebels also experienced drought, as Bachtell, Carey Brennan and South's Kari Belin matched kills for 13 straight side outs.


It was Casey Nogle who finally broke the string with three service points for Smithsburg (8-1, 5-0), followed by three more from Brennan for a 12-5 lead before Bachtell put it away with a powerful kill.

"(The Rebels) only gave me one blocker outside," said Bachtell, "so I had more angles to work with."

In the third game, South (4-6, 2-2) opened with three straight points, and led 6-5 before Bachtell served five straight points, including an ace. Kelli Martin added two more service points to break it open with an 11-6 Leopards lead.

South also took the early lead in the first game, but Brennan served three straight points, Kelly Ashley added five more, and Jenelle Stouffer added one before Bachtell finished it off with six straight. The Leopards' outside hitter also contributed four kills in Game 1.

Smithsburg coach Jim Klein attributed much of Bachtell's success at the net to his club's passing.

"Our passing dictates how we distribute the ball," said Klein. "We failed to set the middle well in the first game, which led to a lot of kills outside."

Despite the loss, South coach Brad Helman was pleased with his club's effort.

"We played them tougher today than we did the last time we played them," said Helman. "Some people stepped up for us and did a fine job. It's hard to be upset when you lose to (Smithsburg). They're number one and they deserve to be."

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