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Hubs' house is horror for Rebels

September 29, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

When asked about Tuesday night's North Hagerstown-South Hagerstown volleyball match, Hubs senior Brooke Ward made her thoughts perfectly clear.

"It's our house, that's all I've got to say," Ward said after her seven kills helped lead the No. 10 Hubs to a 25-23, 25-23, 25-19 sweep of the No. 7 and previously unbeaten Rebels in North's gym.

It wasn't always pretty - of the 140 points played, 63 were decided on errors - but North (7-1) did what it had to to win the key points late in each game. The Hubs deflated the Rebels (6-1) by rallying from a 12-3 deficit in the second game to seize all the momentum.

"The seniors are taking it over," North coach Corry Eagler said. "There was no way they were going to let us lose tonight."

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"We played good, but we didn't come in here to play to win," South coach Chuck Weaver said. "The last six matches we've played good ball, and we let down in here a little bit. In all honesty, I think they wanted it a little more than we did."

Both teams showed a serious case of nerves in the first game, combining for 26 errors in a choppy display which failed to accurately show how much talent both squads have.

There were 14 ties and seven lead changes in the first game. Katie Plume's kill gave North a 23-22 lead, Steph Horchner's ace made it 24-22 and after a service error gave the ball to South, the Rebels' final error of the game gave North the early edge.

South seemed to shake it off when the Rebels raced out to the nine-point lead in the second game, highlighted by Jamie Fowler's three kills in the run.

But just as suddenly, North's defense - with 6-foot-3 Kaitlin Zimmer clogging the middle at the net and the Hubs' defenders cutting off the hitting lanes - made life difficult for the Rebels. Meanwhile, North started finding attacking options on the outside as Ward, Katie Plume (six total kills) and Ariel Kifer (five total kills) found some holes.

The result was a 22-11 run, including the game's final five points. Plume's kill on game point was a dagger in the Rebels' heart.

"We found their weak spots and put it to them down the lines and in the corners," Ward said. "We took it to them, especially that last game. Our outside hitters, we were on tonight and we took advantage of it."

"The fact we could beat them and not have a middle attack working, that says a lot for us," Eagler said.

South kept things interesting for a while in the third game, as the teams played to seven ties. The last was when South pulled even at 16-16, before Ward and Plume had two kills each and drove the Hubs to a 9-3 run to close out the match.

"We never got the momentum, never got balance," Waever said. "I don't want to take anything away from (North), they played well."

Tracy Hinkle had 26 assists for the Hubs, who will travel to South on Oct. 26 for a rematch which will be the one that counts in the MVAL Antietam standings.

Fowler had seven kills, Chelsea Weaver and Caitlin Nicewarner each had six kills, Weaver had seven service points and Brittany Hyatt had 20 assists for the Rebels.

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