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Hubs advance to final with 17-15 Game 5 win over North East

November 19, 1998

North team celebrationBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




ROSEDALE, Md. - When the enemy continues firing at will with a big weapon, the last defense must be a very strong wall.

It took the North Hagerstown volleyball team two hours, twenty-seven minutes to build that wall Wednesday night in the Class 2A state semifinals, but it worked to perfection.

North's Lindsay Houck stuffed North East's Kate Davis on match point, and the Hubs survived a superb individual effort by Davis for a 11-15, 15-8, 15-8, 13-15, 17-15 victory and a second straight chance at the state championship.

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"I think everyone was holding their breath on match point," North coach Tracy McKinsey said.

The Hubs (17-2) were holding their breath because of Davis, who almost pulled out the win single-handedly. She finished with 31 kills - six in the final game - and several spectacular digs to keep rallies alive for the Indians.

"We knew they had a big gun; we didn't know how big," McKinsey said. "Boy, is she big."

She was big enough to get the Indians to match point, when McKinsey called her final timeout.

"We kept thinking, 'We better win; we better win,'" Danielle Bergeman said. "And I kept thinking, watch number 6 (Davis)."

Excited #22Instead, it was Davis and the Indians (18-1) watching in dismay. With Davis' block set up for the big bombs of Erica Dattilio and Danielle Bergeman, North countered with the pinpoint accuracy of Amanda Nelson, who got a sideout at 14-15, then evened the score at 15-15 with back-to-back kills that found the perfect spot.

"We're real comfortable together out there," said Dattilio, who finished with 21 assists, 16 points and 13 kills. "We know we can have anybody out there and get a good pass, and get a good set and then kill."

For a while, it looked like Davis - and a bad case of the nerves - would do in North. The Indians' senior had four blocks for points in Game 1 and continued creating havoc in the front row until the very end. That havoc was exactly what McKinsey didn't want.

"That was the first thing out of our mouth: We're scoring when she's in the back row," McKinsey said. "It was important we didn't even serve to her; she's that good a player."

But the Hubs kept making mistakes to let the Indians back in. Nine setting errors on North were spread throughout the match, and several patches of miscommunication were costly, especially in Game 4, where North held 12-7 and 13-11 leads.

"I think it was nerves. Generally, defense and passing are our big things," said Bergeman, who finished with 12 kills. "But tonight it wasn't the best."

"It's nice to know you can fix things," McKinsey said. "It's not the team that's beating you; you're beating yourself. (Before Game 5) We talked about that."

"We just knew we wanted to win so much," Datillio said. "And we put it all on the line and never gave up."

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