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Start to finish, Wildcats shine

October 09, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Lindsey Plotner made sure Williamsport's volleyball team started fast against Thomas Johnson.

Kris Weir and Sammi Snodderly made sure the Wildcats never slowed down.

Riding their star middle hitter and a pair of unsung supporting outside hitters, Williamsport earned an impressive 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the Patriots on Wednesday night.

Plotner, a Herald-Mail All-Area selection a year ago, had two kills and a block in the match's first five points, setting the tone as the Wildcats jumped out to a 12-5 lead in Game 1. Plotner had six kills in the game.

"It was important for us to get off to a good start," Plotner said. "(Thomas Johnson's) a good team, and if we were to get down, it would haunt us."

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Plotner added five kills in Game 2, and Weir and Snodderly started making their presences known on the outside. Snodderly had five kills in the game and Weir added four as the Wildcats (7-1) again jumped on TJ early with a 7-1 run.

"It was coming from everywhere," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "We were hitting from all angles, and I don't think they were prepared for it. ... It was a big advantage for us to be up 2-0. I wouldn't want to fall behind 2-0 to TJ, no way."

"We gave up too many big points at the beginning of both the first and second games," TJ coach Jim Dorsch said. "If we don't give up those runs, we hang with them the rest of the game."

Snodderly had five kills, Weir four and Plotner three as Williamsport closed out TJ in a choppy Game 3. The Wildcats won the final three points, two coming on Snodderly's kills, including on match point.

"Everyone knew we had to step up, and this wasn't going to be a one-person effort," Plotner, who finished with 14 kills, said. "Everyone contributed."

Erin Maldo had 10 kills and three blocks to lead the Patriots, but TJ failed to find enough of an attack to offset Weir (11 kills) and Snodderly (12 kills).

"We are not as strong at second and third hitters as most teams we play," Dorsch said.

The victory comes at a key point for Williamsport as the Wildcats head into a difficult MVAL Antietam Conference schedule which includes county rivals Smithsburg, Boonsboro, North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown.

"We needed this one, we needed it bad," Crabtree said. "We needed to play well against a really good team, and we did that tonight."

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