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Warriors have way with Lions

September 10, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Jessica Ambrose had a game to remember Thursday night against Walkersville. Ambrose and the rest of Boonsboro's volleyball team hope to have a 2004 to remember.

Ambrose served 24 consecutive service points in the second game to direct Boonsboro to its first perfect game (using rally scoring) in school history during the Warriors' 25-7, 25-0, 25-7 thumping of the Lions.

"I was doing my best to keep my serves in," said Ambrose, who had eight aces and seven assists in the game and scored two second-touch kills in the final three points to apply the finishing touches. "Once I got to 15 or 16, I started thinking about it since it hadn't been done before."

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Ambrose - a 2003 Herald-Mail All-Area First Team selection - finished the match with 40 service points - including 11 in a row to start the first game - as well as 16 assists and 12 aces for the Warriors (2-0).

"Jessie is the quarterback of our team," Boonsboro coach Wendi Smith said. "They rely on her, she relies on them and that's why we play as a team. ... She is an all-around player."

Ambrose isn't the only talented player on a Warriors squad which returns four starters from last year's squad, which reached the Maryland Class 1A West finals before falling to eventual state champion Williamsport.

Caitlyn Selby (10 kills), last season's main attack option, is back. So are a host of other weapons, including Jerica Hewitt (five kills) - a star on the Warriors' basketball team - Kim Snavely (12 service points, five aces), Tara Garver (three assists, two kils in the first game) and Kasi Harris (two blocks in the third game).

"We have a lot more people to go to," said Selby, whom many teams keyed on last year. "We have a lot of options. We don't have to rely on one person being on, we can go to someone else."

"I have a lot more options, and I have a nice, deep bench," Smith said. "I can always turn to my bench."

Last year, with the debut of the MVAL Antietam, Boonsboro broke up the Williamsport-Smithsburg party at the top of the standings, taking the Leopards' place. With the Wildcats returning only one starter from last year's state championship team, the Warriors have an opportunity to make even more noise.

"Expectations are really high," Ambrose said. "We've been working hard for years, and we think this is our year to shine."

That doesn't mean it will be easy in the league. Williamsport won't surrender the Antietam and Class 1A crowns without a fight, Smithsburg has five starters back and North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown have their entire starting lineups back, making the race for the league title intriguing.

"There are teams where we have to keep our heads in it and play our game," Selby said. "If we can do that, we can go far."

"It's very nice to have everyone back," Smith said. "They know what I expect. We win as a team and play as a team."

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