Eagles survive in five

October 28, 1998

Martinsburg vs. HedgesvilleBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - About the only thing Nicki Woodsmall doesn't do on the volleyball court, according to Hedgesville coach Sue Davis, is sweep the floor.

The Eagles' senior was all over the floor Tuesday night - she may have even done some sweeping with her uniform - leading the team with 32 assists and 21 service points. She even had seven kills.

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The most important of those statistics, however, was the seven service points she scored to open the decisive fifth game as No. 7 Hedgesville held on for a 15-10, 15-10, 9-15, 6-15, 15-7 victory over Martinsburg to claim Berkeley County bragging rights.


"I do the sweeping, and she takes care of everything else," said Davis of her setter and team leader. "She just so quick, and she really keeps us going out there."

Entering Game 5 - played using rally scoring in which sideouts earn a point - the Eagles had every reason to watch the win slip away. The Bulldogs had won the third and fourth games handily to force the showdown.

But with the momentum resting securely with Martinsburg, Woodsmall proceeded to serve seven straight points, aided by a kill apiece from Brooke Ferguson, Mary Meister and Becca Hess, and all but ice the victory.

"We had to get that fire back in our eyes and play with everything we had in us," said Woodsmall. "We got down on ourselves and weren't playing together (in Games 3 and 4). If we made a mistake, we weren't able to pick ourselves back up."

Martinsburg's serving was primarily responsible for the Game 3 win, with LaToya Parks and Emily Baker serving eight of the Bulldogs' final 10 points, including six aces, with Baker finishing the game with three straight aces. In the fourth game, Martinsburg reeled off the final 10 points to force the rally game, while the Eagles suffered through four service errors.

"Our philosophy is that we should start the game when the game starts instead of waiting until we get down," said Bulldogs coach Tara Bain. "But I'm still really proud of the girls for the way they hung in there and came back."

The Eagles' superior net play made the difference in the first two games with 22 kills and four blocks to just 14 kills for Martinsburg.

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