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'Cats eye another title

Williamsport sweeps Loch Raven to set up rematch with Poolesville for 1A volleyball crown.

Williamsport sweeps Loch Raven to set up rematch with Poolesville for 1A volleyball crown.

November 13, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER

ESSEX, Md. - OK, so it took the Williamsport volleyball team one game to overcome the jitters - a game in which the passes weren't quite as crisp and the serves not quite as sharp as coach Emily Crabtree would have liked.

It was a game in which Williamsport merely dominated Loch Raven.

In games 2 and 3, on the other hand, the Wildcats mauled the Raiders, sweeping to a 25-20, 25-12, 25-10 victory in the Maryland Class 1A state semifinals Tuesday at the Community College of Baltimore County at Essex.

The win propels Williamsport, the defending 1A champion, into a state final rematch against Poolesville at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. The Falcons beat Perryville in the first semifinal match of the night.

"It took us a while to get going," said Crabtree. "The girls had trouble with the lights and the high ceiling, and our passing wasn't as good as it has been, but it was good enough."

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Williamsport (18-1) also got some help from the Raiders, who handed out seven points on service errors as the Wildcats surged to a 22-12 advantage. The Raiders (12-7) crept back into the game by scoring eight of the next 10 points to pull within four before a Sammi Snodderly kill ended it.

"Any time you can score points off of missed serves, those are points you don't have to work for. And in rally scoring, every serve counts," Crabtree said.

Entering the match with a 12-game winning streak, Loch Raven coach Cary Lyon admitted that his club didn't help itself.

"We were on a 12-game win streak because we served well and passed well," Lyon said. "And we didn't do that tonight. (Williamsport's) hitters weren't really the problem. We hurt ourselves."

Williamsport dominated the next two games, jumping out to a 12-3 lead in the second game, and margins of 15-7 and 23-9 in Game 3.

Kris Weir led the way offensively for the Wildcats with nine kills, two blocks and 13 service points.

"I usually don't pass well, but tonight I passed well and had a good night serving," Weir said.

Snodderly came up big in Game 2 with 11 service points, including four aces.

Lindsey Plotner finished with 13 service points and five kills for the match, while Staci Grabill chipped in 10 assists.

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