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Rebels ousted by Smithsburg 'dominator'

November 09, 1999|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Heather Ashley may be only a sophomore, but she's already providing senior leadership for Smithsburg's volleyball team.

Ashley had five of her 13 kills in the crucial third game, and the defending Class 1A champion Leopards shook off a slow start by turning the offense up a notch in a 15-8, 9-15, 15-6, 15-5 victory over South Hagerstown in a South region quarterfinal match.

"I try to be a dominator out there. My goal is to play good offense and good defense, and that's what I did tonight," Ashley said.

But it took two games for Ashley and Smithsburg (12-3) to get rolling. The Leopards managed to claw out game 1 thanks to numerous South errors, despite inconsistent play. Michelle Feiser closed the game with a kill.

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After Smithsburg took a 5-0 lead in game 2, inconsistency haunted the Leopards again, and this time, South managed to string together points, eventually tying the game at 9-9.

A Laura Wishard ace and a Cara Crouse kill gave South (5-10) an 11-9 lead, and after Abby Lorshbaugh served a point, Allison Wine faked a right-handed kill and dropped a left-handed shot over Smithsburg's front line for a key point. Wine and Lea Bikle finished off the game with kills.

"I'm proud of the girls because we took one game, and that's more than we did all season long against Smithsburg," South coach Deana Fennel said.

"We let down a little bit in the second game, and then once you lose momentum, it's real difficult to get it back," Leopards coach Jim Klein said.

After Wishard hit an ace to start game 3, Ashley started dominating for Smithsburg. She came up with two straight blocks for a 2-1 lead, then served for two more points.

The entire Leopards team followed Ashley's suit. A Lauren Wishard kill and aces from Jenelle Stouffer and Jolee Warrenfeltz made it 7-1. Two more kills from Ashley and one from Erica Shinham gave Smithsburg a 10-3 lead, and Feiser and Richards then added two kills each as Smithsburg took over the match.

"We have three sophomores, a couple of juniors and a couple of seniors," Smithsburg coach Jim Klein said. "Out of the 14 players we had eligible, 13 played."

That depth wore out the Rebels, as Amber Biser served nine straight points in the final game for a 10-2 lead that all but ended the match. Ashley had two powerful kills in the run, while Shinham added two kills and Biser had three aces.

Ashley wasn't satisfied with leaving her message on the court. "We're gonna beat Clear Spring and then we're gonna go on and beat Williamsport in the region final," she predicted.

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