It was the 11th straight win for Hagerstown (14-3 overall, 3-0 conference).
"I was surprised," Palmer said. "I thought that Catonsville would have the team that would have been ranked out of our region, because they were the defending champions. But they did not get ranked and they did not get any votes. I think that what helped us to get ranked was our showing at the Michigan tournament. We beat a team from Rochester, NY (10-1), that is ranked fifth in the Division III poll."
Sophomore setter Kelli Martin led the way for the Hawks on Wednesday by collecting 37 assists and 16 service points. Martin has continued to be successful in setting up the Hawks' hitters for their kills.
"Overall, we have gotten a lot better with our hitting attack since the pre-season," Martin said. "The coach has had us lifting some weights; so we seem to be getting a lot stronger. We're getting a lot smarter too with the way that we are running the plays. Our passes have gotten a lot better, so that makes my job a little bit easier. I try to mix it up. Whoever is on tends to get a little bit more of the sets."
Rachel Bachtell came through with 13 kills and six digs, while Erica McCann added eight kills and three blocks for Hagerstown. Jade Whipp tallied eight service points, while Casey Nogle added seven service points and six kills for the Hawks. Renee Baker had six kills, while Lindsey Miller added four kills and four blocks for the Hawks.
"It's time for us to be challenged again," Palmer said. "Hopefully, that will happen this weekend in the tournament up at Genesee (NY). Sometimes, too much winning makes you think that you are better than you actually are."