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Wildcats royally advance

November 09, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - It was set up as a possible changing of the guard.

Boonsboro's volleyball team had defending Class 1A state champion Williamsport in the Warriors' gym for the 1A West final Saturday evening and held dreams of knocking the Wildcats off their throne.

And in 15 minutes - the time it took for Williamsport to unleash a stunning display of top-notch volleyball that left Boonsboro reeling - the Wildcats had served notice they don't intend to lose anytime soon. Certainly not this year.

Kris Weir had 14 kills and Lindsey Plotner had 12, spearheading an attack that was never better than in Game 1 of Williamsport's 25-11, 25-19, 25-18 sweep of Boonsboro, giving the Wildcats a ticket to the state semifinals.

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"We were just clicking on all cylinders, if you want to use that clich," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "I told them before the game that nobody's perfect, that not all the passes will be good and not all the kills will get down. But after the first game, I told them they were close to being perfect. ... It was fun to watch."

Plotner had six kills, Weir had two blocks and a kill and Sammi Snodderly had two kills in Game 1, as the Wildcats (17-1) used six-point serving runs by Katie Saufley and Staci Grabill - the latter which ended the game - to run away from the Warriors (16-3).

"We get all worked up before the game, and sometimes we connect with a good pass and a good kill, and we keep doing it over and over and the other team gets down," Saufley said.

"We know teams are out to beat us since we're the defending champs," Plotner said. "Our confidence level has to be high for us to win. We don't want anyone to beat us."

Weir took control of the match with seven kills in Game 2 and six more in Game 3, dominating play at the net. With Williamsport leading Game 2, 17-15, Weir converted three straight kills to give the Wildcats a needed cushion.

"Sometimes we have horrible practices but we come out in a game and click amazingly well," Weir said. "We're going to come out and play harder at states. We don't want to lose that title."

Grabill had 19 assists and Beth Ryan added 14 assists for Williamsport, which has won 16 straight matches since losing to Somerset in the championship game of the McConnellsburg Tournament on Sept. 6.

"Each practice we work on something different, and it's all coming together at the end," Grabill said. "We know we have the ability to go far, but you have to put it together, and that's what we're doing."

Boonsboro had its first winning season since 1992 come to an abrupt end on their home floor. Caitlyn Selby had five kills, Caroline Woodhams had four kills and seven assists and Jessie Ambrose added four kills and six assists.

"They were too pumped up," Warriors coach Wendi Smith said. "They wanted it too bad and they were afraid of making a mistake. Instead of playing their game, they were too conservative. ... If we had walked into the gym at 2 (p.m.) today (instead of 5), I think it would have been different."

With the region title firmly secured, the Wildcats' sole focus is on repeating as 1A state champions.

"That's a big motivation," Crabtree said. "They know what it feels like, and for the seniors, they know this is it. They're hungry and they're tasting another one."

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