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Five's the limit before Leopards top Hubs

October 24, 2003|by

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Leopards found out that victories don't come easy on Thursday night.

North Hagerstown pushed the Leopards to the limit as Smithsburg avoided an upset with a 27-25, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-9 victory in a MVAL Antietam volleyball match.

North Hagerstown (7-8) held a 9-8 lead in the fifth game until Smithsburg (9-4, 5-1) scored a sideout to tie the score. Senior Annie Brucksch got the Leopards out of the woods with six straight service points to seal the match.

"I knew that it was a pivotal point in the match that we needed to step up," Brucksch said. "I just put the ball in and the players on the front line did the rest. I knew that we started to fall apart in the games that we lost. But then we came together at the end when we needed it."

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Brucksch finished with 19 service points and six digs.

"We played a strong defensive game," Smithsburg assistant coach Rose Powell said. "Annie Brucksch did an outstanding job on defense and with serving. She is our unsung hero. She is a quiet leader, but she gets the job done when we need it."

Heather Bywaters had 18 kills and 12 service points, while Molly Powell had 14 service points and 13 assists for the Leopards. Kayla Martin added 13 assists and 10 service points, while Kenzie Bowen had 10 kills for Smithsburg.

"We came together nice as a team and we played with a lot of heart," Powell added. "North High has got some strong hitters that went through some of our blocks and that is where our back row saved us. Heather Bywaters put the last few critical balls down for us when we needed her to."

Sarah Staley had 16 assists, 12 service points and five aces for North Hagerstown. Ariel Kifer had 16 digs and nine kills, while Katie Plume added 13 service points and Lindsey Grove had 12 service points for the Hubs.

"I think that it was a very good match tonight," North Hagerstown coach Corry Eagler said. "I think that the key was that we were making errors at the wrong time. It wasn't the number of errors. They just came at the wrong time. Overall, I was very pleased. It shows that we can play at the same level as the top teams."

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