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South served sweep: Middletown misses just one serve in MVAL win

September 16, 1999

South served sweep: Middletown misses just one serve in MVAL win

South vs. MiddletownBy CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




There are plenty of large companies who take pride in the quality of the service they provide.

Many of them would take a back seat to the Middletown volleyball team.

[cont. from sports page]

The Knights hit 69 of 70 service attempts Wednesday - including 67 straight - to dismantle South Hagerstown, 15-2, 15-7, 15-11, in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League match.

"We only missed one serve all night," said Middletown coach Jason Norris, "and that was two away from the last one. That's what we've been stressing to them, but we've never served that well before."

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Meanwhile, the Rebels were struggling from the service line, and committing unforced errors - especially in the first two games - to make things relatively easy for the Knights.

"It's fundamentals," said South coach Deanna Fennel. "That's what we're having problems with right now. We're having trouble passing and we're having trouble serving. When we get the basics down, we're able to make the plays. We just don't have the basics down well enough."

The Rebels missed four of their first seven serves to start game one, while Middletown reeled off 13 unanswered points including four aces, and a pair of Gretchen Morgan kills finished it for the Knights.

"We have good servers, we have hard servers, and we have servers who can hit certain sports on the floor," said Fennel. "And if we could have put the first ball into the court in the first game, things could have been much different. But when you make mistake after mistake after mistake, it makes it harder to pull yourself back up."

The aces came with even greater regularity in the second game for Middletown, with Morgan and Amanda Kaufman accounting for two apiece to spark the Knights to a 9-3 advantage. Katie House followed with four straight aces and five points to put the game on ice and give Middletown eight service aces for the game.

South had several opportunities to steal game three, pulling to within 7-6 and 11-10, only to watch their next service opportunity land out of bounds.

Morgan finished with 16 service points, six aces and four blocks to pace the Knights, with Becky O'Leary adding seven kills and Allison Johnson six.

Allison Wine's 10 kills led South, with Ashley Van Pelt chipping in six service points, hitting nine for nine from the service line.

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