Volleyball notes - This time, it means a little more

October 11, 2000

Volleyball notes - This time, it means a little more

Tonight's second matchup between No. 1 Smithsburg and No. 3 Williamsport has been weighing on the minds of head coaches Jim Klein and Kristi Gee.

It's just that the systems of measurement have been different.

"We've placed more emphasis on this one," Williamsport's Gee said. "It could affect the seedings down the road (for the Maryland playoffs) and it'll play for the MVAL standings. This one's got a lot more weight."

"The kids are aware the league is important, but we're concentrating on the journey," Smithsburg's Klein said. "We do know we've got to play a little better than last time."

Smithsburg's five-game marathon victory on Oct. 2 showed both teams they are capable of winning this, and just as easily getting swept.


"We have to stay mentally focused this time," said Gee, whose team won the first two games before losing the last three. "We had seven service errors in Game 4; you don't do that against a team like Smithsburg and win."

"What we're doing is to have to concentrate on everybody finding that little thing they can do better from the last time," Klein said. "All those minor adjustments may add up to something."

The winner will have sole possession of first place in the MVAL, but the Wildcats still have a trip to Francis Scott Key next week. For them, it makes tonight that much more important.

"I'd say we're excited," Gee said. "They're looking forward to it because they know they made mistakes ... and they're getting a second chance to show they can play well against Smithsburg."

Leopards, Eagles join the fray

The 18-team Martinsburg Invitational will be Saturday at Martinsburg Field House, and this year's field is loaded.

From the Tri-State, No. 1 Smithsburg, No. 5 Hedgesville and No. 10 Greencastle have the best hopes against fellow participants Parkersburg and Parkersburg South, who finished 1-2 in the West Virginia Class AAA tournament in 1999.

The Leopards are in a pool with Jefferson, University and Woodrow Wilson, which has been to the W.Va. state semifinals in nine of the last 10 years, but sits around .500 this season.

"We were there last year, so we know a little about what we'll see," Klein said. "We even split with Parkersburg South. It's no one we'll play in the regular season, so there's a lot more chances to concentrate on ourselves ... on what we do right and work on our weaknesses."

For the Eagles, it's also a learning experience. Their 18-match winning streak could come to an end with the Big Reds in their opening bracket, but coach Susan Davis isn't worried about that.

"Really, we haven't talked about it," Davis said. "It's ironic. ... The last time someone asked about losing, we went out and lost two games in a row (before rallying to beat Mercersburg Academy on Oct. 4). We're kinda superstitious now."

Superstition or not, 18-game winning streak or not, it still pays to pay attention.

"We'll go and try to see the other players play," Davis said. "We're young. Whatever exposure we get to what other teams will bring will benefit us.

"We're real excited about this. It's going to be a challenge and we love a challenge. We're looking forward to it."

One and done

No. 4 McConnellsburg was beaten in two straight Tuesday night by Everett, leaving the number of teams with regular-season perfect records at two: No. 7 Grace Academy and No. 1 Smithsburg. But the Knights have twice fallen in the semifinals of tournaments this season, leaving the Leopards as the only true unbeaten team left.

This week's notebook compiled by staff writer Dan Spears.

The Herald-Mail Articles