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Warriors fight off fifth game, beat South in four

September 10, 1999|By DAN KAUFFMAN

BOONSBORO - When initially asked about Leah Easterday, a sophomore who played her first high school volleyball game on Tuesday, Boonsboro coach Kris McGee admitted, "I don't think she made one serve."

On Thursday, with the Warriors up two games to one, but down 14-4 in the fourth game to South Hagerstown, Easterday stepped to the service line again. And this time, she served up a comeback fit for kings.

Make that aces.

Easterday served nine straight points, including five aces, leading the Warriors past the Rebels 15-9, 2-15, 15-7 and 16-14.

South used a string of eight straight service points by Cara Crouse and five more from Allison Wine to grab the advantage in the fourth game.

With the Rebels serving game point in the fourth, McGee called time and gave her team one simple message.

"She just said, 'Serve it up one point at a time, and we'll take it,'" Easterday said.

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Boonsboro managed to win the ball back on a Jenn Frey kill, and then Easterday started bringing the Warriors back, one point at a time.

"That's our theory," McGee said. "We never say give ... if they're gonna give on 14, then the game might as well be over on 14."

Frey put away Boonsboro's fifth point on another kill, then Easterday hit three aces in the next four serves to get to 14-9. Two more aces, another kill from Frey and a kill from Easterday behind the 10-foot line made it 14-13 before the sophomore finally missed. By that time, South was reeling, and Easterday had the respect of her teammates.

"I'm really glad that the girls are proud of me, cause I look forward to (playing with) the team," she said.

Boonsboro regained the ball on a side out, and Frey served the next three points, including her own ace, to hand Boonsboro the win.

"They're gonna ... file it away and recall it, to know that when it is 4-14, we can do it," McGee said.

Then McGee turned realistic. "Ultimately, when we get in the gym tomorrow, we're at point zero. We'll celebrate it tonight, but then it's over."

The thrilling end managed to put a shine on a game that began as a battle of which team would collapse first.

Boonsboro scored 11 straight points in the first game, nine on South errors. The Warriors handed South 10 errors in the second game as the Rebels scored 15 straight points.

McGee praised South for the way they played. "Those girls are hard playing girls, they really are genuine volleyball players. I'm sure there will be really good things to come from them in the future."

South's JV team defeated Boonsboro, 15-4, 15-3.

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