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Spartans' front line too much for Rockets

October 07, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -McConnellsburg still has James Buchanan's number.

In a highly anticipated matchup of volleyball powers, both coming off tournament titles Saturday, the Spartans put the pressure on the Rockets early and often, riding the explosive front line of Kara Carmack, Lindsay Lininger and Jade Anthony to a 25-15, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18 victory Monday night.

"We knew it was going to be tough competition," Anthony said. "We came out ready and strong. We were mentally and physically ready for them."

With Heidi Swope (35 assists) providing the ammo, McConnellsburg's front line pounded James Buchanan from start to finish.

"We have a great setter in Heidi," Carmack said, "and her passes and sets set everyone up for a great hitting night."

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Carmack (20 kills, four blocks) led the way with her precision, routinely finding holes in the Rockets' defense for points.

"We have three big guns, and when they're going ...," McConnellsburg coach Greg Hays said. "There were times Kara was unstoppable."

Lininger (11 kills, six blocks) and Anthony (eight kills) added power to the attack, as the Spartans kept coming in waves.

"We all played well as a team," Lininger said. "We played tough when it counted and we were able to finish it."

"We wanted to attack certain areas ... and when we did hit them, they fell for points," Hays said, adding, "It comes down to who executes well, and we did most of the time."

The Rockets used an 11-2 run in Game 2 to build a 13-6 lead on the way to momentarily tying the match at a game apiece, but were unable to mount any long scoring runs in the other three games - something JB coach Erica Piper credited the Spartans' defense for.

"They had some nice (digs) on defense, they got some balls up I never thought they would, and our girls got frustrated," Piper said. "I am disappointed we lost, but McConnellsburg is a great team and they deserved to win tonight."

Ashleigh Helfrick had 15 kills and Karina Hunsberger added 13 kills for the Rockets, who also got 19 assists from Lindsay Crider.

James Buchanan must recover from the loss quickly, as the Rockets play a tough Greencastle squad Thursday.

"We have to regroup," Piper said. "I hope this loss brings them together instead of going their seperate ways."

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