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Eagles come up big to cut taller NDA down to size

September 26, 2004|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

ST. JAMES - The Hedgesville volleyball team faced a tall order on Saturday and cut it down to size.

The Eagles defeated taller Notre Dame Academy 25-18, 25-14 in the finals to complete a sweep of five best-of-3 matches en route the the Apple Valley League Tournament championship on Saturday at St. James.

"I was really concerned about playing Notre Dame in the championship match," Hedgesville coach Lori Zick said. "They are a very good team. They have some tall girls and some good hitters. I was really concerned if my girls could step up to the challenge. But they did it and I am proud of them."

Hedgesville's Ryan Mills and Megan Grant were chosen to the All-Tournament team, while Emily Springer and Ashlynn Nuckols gained honors for Notre Dame. Emily McCoy (Berkeley Springs), Ashley Bennett (Musselman), Michelle Neiderer (Martinsburg) and Courtni Williams (Jefferson) completed the team.

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Hedgesville swept through Pool A while Musselman (2-1) was second, Martinsburg (1-2) was third and St. Maria Goretti (0-3) was fourth.

Notre Dame matched Hedgesville in Pool B while Berkeley Springs (2-1) was second, Jefferson (1-2) was third and Hancock (0-4) was fourth.

Hedgesville advanced to the championship match by sweeping Berkeley Springs in the semifinals, 25-18, 25-20. Notre Dame swept Musselman 25-20, 25-22 in its semifinals.

Taylor Munson scored 12 service points to lead Hedgesville in the championship match.

"Talking definitely got us pumped," Munson said. "It was a big win. It's great that our team came through in clutch situations. Now, we know that we are capable of anything. Potential is definitely what you need to play this game. Our team has got it. We all played our positions, which is what you have got to have. We succeeded in doing that."

Notre Dame jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the first game of the championship match. Hedgesville outscored Notre Dame 19-7 to comeback, sealing the win on a game-ending kill by Kara Barnes.

Hedgesville scored 13 of the last 17 points in the second game to win the match.

"I thought that Ryan Mills did an exceptional job for us today coming through with some big hits," Zick said. "She got her hits when we needed them the most. Taylor Munson is a very steady player at the service line. She has got a nice serve. Taylor knows when it is an important serve and she can get the job done. Overall, I am just pleased with their heart, desire and their ability to pull together and win the championship."

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