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Serving to receive

September 24, 1999

Serving to receive: Clear Spring gets 17 aces to sweep Panthers

Jenn Mentzer of Clear SpringBy BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

photos: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




CLEAR SPRING - Like gum to the sole of the Clear Spring Blazers, the Hancock volleyball team stuck close Thursday.

But close proved to be not nearly enough as the Clear Spring righted the ship behind Kasey Gruber's 100 percent, 17-point night at the service line to come away with a 15-11, 15-13, 15-4 sweep of Hancock.

[cont. from sports page]

The Blazers managed to bang out 17 aces for the match, but it was the scrappy play of Hancock (2-3) that most impressed both coaches as time and again the Panthers played back into the match after going down early.

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"I tell you, (Hancock) has always played that way," Clear Spring coach Karrie Ernst said. "You think you have them down and somehow they keep coming back."

"Truthfully, this is the best we have played this season," Hancock coach Debbie Bowman said. "Their attitudes were much improved and we actually showed signs of life in there."

Clear Spring vs. HancockThe Blazers (1-2) jumped out 8-0 in Game 1 behind the aggressive serve of Gruber.

Forcing three straight service breaks, Jayme Bartles, Beth Sterner and Erica Winn helped the Panthers take a 10-8 lead by dominating the play on the floor.

A time out by Ernst helped settle the Blazers.

"We needed to stick to our game and not get rattled," Ernst said. "It is easy to get out of sync. We couldn't allow them to do that to us."

The Blazers regained the momentum and the lead with Tara Myers' five service points that put Clear Spring ahead 13-11. From there, Gruber served the last two points giving the Blazers Game 1.

"We finally put together what we do in practice," Ernst said of the Blazers in game one. "That is all we want of them - play the way we practice."

Hancock took the initial lead in Game 2, then allowed the Blazers to play back as Myers erased an 8-4 Hancock lead with eight straight points. After an exchange of serves at 14-13, the Blazers' Lindsay Shives banged an ace to end the game.

For Hancock, Winn had 12 points and six kills. Sterner added six assists.

Myers had 10 digs, while Megan Springer and Jen Mentzer had five kills each for Clear Spring.

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