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Wildcats oust Leopards

November 06, 2003|by JACK HILL III

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Wildcats had a "sweep 16" party Wednesday night, and the Smithsburg Leopards were the guests of honor.

The Wildcats won their 16th straight match, sweeping away the Leopards 25-19, 25-23, 25-20 in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals.

Williamsport (16-1) will play Boonsboro in the region final on Friday or Saturday. The Wildcats are in pursuit of their 18th region championship since 1978.

"We came ready to play," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "The girls were up and they really wanted to win this match. Smithsburg played well and hard. It was a great defensive effort by both teams. Our girls have never given up. Even when we are down, it doesn't seem to bother them. They know each other well and where to be on the floor. They do a good job of picking each other up."

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The Wildcats got a great match from 6-foot-1 senior middle hitter Lindsey Plotne, who had 10 kills, nine blocks, nine service points and three aces. Plotner got five straight service points to snap a tie in the third game that gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 11-6.

"Smithsburg is a good team," Plotner said. "Getting ahead was crucial, so I just knew that I had to serve it up. I think that we all played well and worked well as a team. Whenever we got a few points down, we dug down deep and brought our best game back. As a senior, I just know how important it is to step up if we want to win."

Staci Grabill had 16 assists and nine service points for Williamsport. Kris Weir got 10 kills and 10 service points, Katie Saufley had 29 digs and four kills, Sammi Snodderly added 32 digs and eight kills and Beth Ryan had 10 assists.

Laura Lindsay collected 11 service points and five kills, while Annie Brucksch tallied nine service points for Smithsburg (10-6). Molly Powell ended up with nine assists and Kayla Martin had eight.

"Williamsport is a great team and, coming into tonight, we knew that it was going to be a battle," Smithsburg coach Rachel Bachtell said. "But our kids played their hearts out and that is all that we can ask for."

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