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Williamsport defends volleyball title

September 09, 2000

Williamsport defends volleyball title



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Williamsport volleyball coach Kristi Gee asked her team to find a leader heading into the final of the 11th Lady Spartan Tournament Saturday against home-standing McConnellsburg. Katie Spoonire almost took too long to come to the front.

The middle hitter had 12 kills - three of them on blocks - after the Wildcats were down match point in the second game and served up championship point as Williamsport defended its title, 6-15, 16-14, 15-9.

"She stepped up," Gee said. "She may not hit the ball as hard as some other middles, but she's smart out there. She took her time and found all the holes."

Early on, Williamsport was in a deep hole, playing without first-team All-Area selection Danielle Munson and being abused in the center of the court by Kyla Seville and the rest of the Spartans.

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After being down 5-1 in Game 1, McConnellsburg went on a tear, taking a 14-8 lead in Game 2 on a kill by Seville into the middle. It was almost the last time it happened.

"You could just see their strength come to the front," McConnellsburg coach Greg Hays said. "They absolutely closed it up. ... It's their tradition to come back and never say die. They did that."

Spoonire stayed this execution just in time. After saving a match point and her team down 14-11, Spoonire ran off three straight points on a tip, a block and a kill to tie it at 14-14 before the Wildcats got the win.

With her teammates digging up everything the Spartans could throw at them, Spoonire also made the pivotal plays in Game 3. With Williamsport up 7-6, she sandwiched a kill and two blocks around a Steph Garlitz kill for an 11-6 lead.

"Without Danielle, I think all the kids knew they were going to have to pull together and do this as a team," Gee said. "It was up to them if they were going to do something here."

Spoonire finished with 19 kills and only one error in the last two games. Seville finished with 10 kills, but none after her team reached match point.

"We're a little disappointed, but give them a lot of credit," said Hays, whose team started two freshmen in the final. "We were in position to win with a developing team, and they took it away. That's what good teams do."

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