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Leopards leap all over Poolesville

November 10, 1998

Smithburg vs. PoolesvilleBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the Poolesville Indians volleyball team was overmatched on Monday night.

Smithsburg, ranked third in the Herald-Mail poll, jumped to quick leads in all three games and used the powerful kills of Carey Brennan and Rachel Bachtell to claw past Poolesville, 15-5, 15-5, 15-12 in a Class 1A South quarterfinal match.

"We met our goals: We moved well, played good defense, got the subs a lot of work, and that's good," Leopards coach Jim Klein said. "If it doesn't help us in the future of the playoffs, it certainly will help us next year."

The Leopards made sure "next year" stayed far off on the horizon. Smithsburg used several huge kills from Brennan and a five-point serving string from Casey Nogle to build an 8-1 lead in the first game.

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Bachtell kept up the pattern of fast starts, serving six straight points to open the second game. Brennan and Kelly Ashley punctuated the run with kills as the Leopards built a 10-2 lead.

"We played at our pace in the first two games," Klein said. "In the third game with the substitutes, it was no different."

Smithsburg cleared the bench for the third game, getting the substitutes valuable playing time. Freshman Heather Ashley served five straight points as the Leopards opened up an 8-1 lead.

But Poolesville literally dug out of the hole and clawed back into the game. Poolesville scored 9 of the next 13 points, thanks to a gutty defensive effort. Mary Anderson capped the run with two aces to get Poolesville within two.

"Towards the end of the game, we coasted a little bit more than I would like," Klein said. "We've always been a team that maybe has looked at the scoreboard too much.

"(Poolesville) is an incredibly aggressive defensive team. They dug just about everything. If we didn't work hard to put the ball away, they brought it back. They gave us a good opportunity to work the offense hard."

With the score 13-12 in favor of Smithsburg, Bachtell stepped to the service line and capped the match off with two points to send Smithsburg on.

Klein gave credit to his seniors. "They have looked real sharp. Their goal day in and day out is to come in and play well and work hard, and they're doing that."

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