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'Cats tame Leopards in five games

October 16, 1998

Smithsburg vs WilliamsportBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - After dropping the first game to archrival Smithsburg, and trailing by six late in Game 2, Williamsport's volleyball team could have easily started passing the buck, spreading the blame.

Instead, the Wildcats started passing the volleyball, and winning the game, trimming the Leopards 2-15, 15-12, 15-8, 13-15, 15-6 in a crucial Monocacy Valley Athletic League contest Thursday night.

--cont. from sports page--

The turning point came with Smithsburg (9-2, 5-1) holding a commanding 12-6 advantage, as Tina McAllister served nine straight points behind three kills from Barb Spoonire and some pinpoint passing to even things at one game apiece.

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"I was just trying to concentrate," said McAllister. "We knew we had to pull together and play as a team to take control. We just had to stay focused."

Williamsport coach Kristi Gee wasn't sure exactly what happened to turn the tide.

"Something positive happened on our side of the floor," said Gee. "We had two plays in a row, and that gave them enough momentum to show that they could come back against this team. I don't know what it was, but it worked."

After claiming the momentum, the Wildcats (8-1, 3-1) were reluctant to relinquish it, scoring 13 of the first 14 points in the third game, sparked by seven Amy Spoonire service points, including a pair of aces. Smithsburg closed the gap to 14-8 before Lettie Wilkes served the game winner.

The Leopards managed to get their net game clicking in Game 4, registering nine kills for points with Rachel Bachtell grabbing three, and Carey Brennan and Kelli Martin chipping in two apiece. Leading 13-6, Smithsburg watched Kelly Swisher trim the margin to 14-12 before a Casey Nogle service point closed it out.

Williamsport took advantage of every opportunity to score in the final game, with Amy Spoonire serving four points, including three aces before Keya Davis finished off with six straight points.

"Passing was the key," said Gee. "When we passed well, that when we could run our offense and score points. When we didn't pass well, we let Smithsburg score points, and the momentum swung back to them."

Fatigue may have also played a role. Smithsburg used just seven players, while the Wildcats' entire 10-person team saw significant action.

"Toward the end, both teams were getting tired," said Gee. "It helps that I used my bench. Because I played my subs, we were fresher toward the end."

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