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Bottom falls out for Blazers in West semis

November 08, 2002|by JACK HILL III

CLEAR SPRING - When it comes to peaks and valleys, the Clear Spring Blazers volleyball team bottomed out early.

The Blazers dug themselves an early hole against Southern Garrett on Thursday ... So deep in fact, their valiant comeback attempt fell short in a 15-2, 15-6, 10-15, 15-10 loss to the Rams in a Maryland Class 1A West Region semifinal match.

Southern Garrett (14-3) will host Williamsport on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the region championship match. Clear Spring finished its season with a 4-12 record.

"We got off to a slow start tonight," Clear Spring coach Robin Kriner said. "Southern Garrett has a fundamentally sound team. They make very few mistakes. Our girls never gave up. We came back and won the third game. We just couldn't finish out the match. We're very proud of the improvement that our team made."

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Senior hitter Jessica Sharon led Southern Garrett with 10 kills to break the school record for career kills, which had stood since 1987. Sharon also had 10 service points.

Julia Bosley tallied 15 service points, while Stephanie Winer had 10 service points and nine assists for the Rams, while Kristen Rollman had 14 assists and Erika Steyer had four kills for the Rams.

Jill Shupp had 15 service points, seven assists, five service aces and three kills for Clear Spring. Jamie Poffenberger ended up with 11 digs and five kills for the Blazers. Amanda Lady got seven digs and five kills, while Lexi Shingleton added five kills and two blocks for Clear Spring. Ashley Crist had six assists, while Brittany Gruber added three kills for the Blazers.

"We're going to have to play better than this on Saturday," Southern Garrett coach Susan Newton said. "Tonight wasn't one of our typical ballgames. We are usually a high-percentage serving team, but not tonight. We missed way too many. This is a group of girls that can walk out there on the court and play a whole different ballgame. Hopefully, we can do that on Saturday."

Newton said her team has accomplished a lot this year.

"It has been a great group of kids to work with," Newton said. "This win makes us 14-3 now and it is the best record in school history. This is also the first time in school history that Southern Garrett has ever advanced to the region final."

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