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Leopards advance to 1A South final

November 07, 2002|by JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Leopards swept South Hagerstown 15-6, 15-3, 15-4 Wednesday night to advance to the Maryland Class 1A South volleyball final against Poolesville.

The Leopards have reached the region finals each of the last six years and eight of the last nine.

Top-seeded Smithsburg (13-1) won its fifth straight match and plays at No. 3-seed Poolesville Friday at 7 p.m.

"I think that being off for almost two weeks, we started off slow and sluggish," Smithsburg coach Alexa Robertson said. "But then we stepped it up and played Leopard volleyball. I think that we realized that you can't look at any team lightly. Playoffs are a do-or-die situation. In order to keep doing, you have to keep playing."

Leopards' senior middle hitter Katy Powell collected 15 kills and 10 service points.

"I think that we might have been a little bit rusty, because we haven't played for so long," Powell said. "But then we shook the rust off. We played better towards the end. It was good for us to finally get a playoff match in. This match can help prepare us for the next round. I just hope that we can keep getting better in practice. We have still got some things to work on to help get us to the next level."

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Katie Franklin had 22 assists, Annie Brucksch had 12 service points, Brittany Meadows added nine service points and Heather Bywaters had eight kills for the Leopards.

"We know that Smithsburg is always strong at the net," South Hagerstown coach Melissa McElroy said. "Smithsburg is a good team and they deserve to move on."

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