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'Cats stare down North comeback

September 14, 1999

Williamsport vs. NorthBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




The shanked pass rattled off the glasses of Williamsport's Megan Bowman and the senior hitter looked just a little out of sorts.

But like the rest of her teammates Tuesday night, she laughed it off and simply regained her focus.

The No. 4 Wildcats watched a couple of big leads nearly slip from their grasp, but they caught hold again just in time for a 15-6, 17-15, 15-11 victory at No. 6 North Hagerstown.

"We'd get up and then we'd start just handing the ball back without making them work for it," Williamsport coach Kristi Gee said. "We need to work on building that intensity so it's always up there. We're real aggressive, and then we're passive, but then we're aggressive again."

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The second and third games showed both sides of the Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 Monocacy Valley Athletic League). The one side was always in the right spot on defense and spiking everything to the back line on the way to 12-6 and 12-4 leads.

The other was never in a rhythm, putting sets into nowhere and passing toward the referees and not the center of the court. But just as North (1-1, 0-0) made its big rallies, the original Wildcats came back to play.

"It's wonderful," senior hitter Tina McAllister said. "We're a team full of players; we don't have to rely on one person to get us out of the hole. That's how we can hold on."

In game two, North stormed back from 12-6 to lead 14-13 behind four straight Nicole Boyer points. But on game point, Boyer dumped a serve into the net, and Williamsport immediately took a 15-14 lead. After North tied it at 15-15, McAllister's kill off a short set got the side out, and she closed the game by stuffing an errant Hubs pass.

"Against a team like that, you can't afford to make mistakes like that," North coach Jamie Pryor said. "I don't think it disheartened us, but it did fire them up."

Game three followed the same script, as Williamsport went up 12-4 after a six-point run by Danielle Munson that was highlighted by back-to-back aces. The Hubs countered with five straight from Lauren Anderson, but Munson's kill ended the rally and let Bowman serve out the match with some nifty knuckleball serves.

Bowman finished with 11 kills and 20 digs, Munson had 11 kills and five blocks and McAllister had 10 kills and 10 digs for Williamsport. Boyer had nine digs and nine kills and Lindsay Houck had 10 kills.

"This is nice," McAllister said. "This is some of the best competition we get, and to play in here with this crowd, it really gets you pumped.

"We've still got stuff to work on, but so far, we look pretty good."

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