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Wildcats sweep Hubs

September 11, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Win the Spartan Volleyball Tournament in McConnellsburg and it seems you're ready to conquer the world - or at least have all the confidence and team unity needed to tackle a season.

Williamsport, fresh off a Spartan tourney title over the weekend, carried the momentum into Tuesday night's home match with North Hagerstown. The Wildcats swept the Hubs, 15-7, 15-6, 15-12.

"We went to McConnellsburg as six individuals, and as the day progressed we molded into a team. That carried over into tonight," said Williamsport head coach Kristi Gee, whose squad, a state runner-up last year, improved to 2-0 in the regular season. "The first couple matches is finding team unity, and the tournament helped us find it earlier."

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Middle hitters Meggie Miller and Lindsey Plotner and setter Denise Sullivan kept the Wildcat formula stirring. Miller tallied a match-high 12 kills, Plotner added 11 kills and Sullivan racked up 27 assists.

North (0-2) was led by outside hitter Kristina Nash, who tallied nine kills, middle hitter Sarah Long, who banged out five kills and five blocks, and setter Sarah Staley, who had 26 assists and 11 service points.

Williamsport never trailed in game one, breaking a 4-3 advantage into a decisive 10-3 lead behind Kristin Weir's six straight service points, which she capped with an ace. The Hubs got as close as 11-7 before Miller and Jamie Pritchett put things away from the line.

But it definitely didn't get any easier for the Wildcats, who had to come from behind in each of the next two games. The Hubs jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the second game and led 7-4 in the third, which they kept tight the whole way.

"North gave us a run for our money," Miller said. "They were definitely digging up our balls and hitting some at us.

"We were a little tired from the McConnellsburg tournament, which was all day Saturday. We could have done better but overall we got the job done."

Miller got stronger as the match went on, tallying eight of her kills in game three. And with her team hanging on to a 12-11 lead, she gave it some breathing room with back-to-back service points before registering a kill for match point.

It was a similar effort that earned Miller tourney MVP honors in McConnellsburg, and one the Wildcats will continue to need to reach their season goals.

"Having McConnellsburg underneath our belts is definitely a good start to the season," said Miller. "Our season goal is to win the Monocacy Valley League, go to regionals and hopefully to states."

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