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Team effort lifts Leopards

October 20, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - At the end of No. 10 Smithsburg's 26-24, 25-19, 25-21 volleyball sweep of South Hagerstown on Tuesday night, it was hard to pinpoint one Leopard who stood out.

One glance at the stat sheet tells why: All the Leopards stood out.

Bethany Young had eight kills and six blocks, and Kim Sullivan, Jenny Nalley, Kenzie Bowen and Kayla Martin all had their moments in the spotlight for Smithsburg (8-3, 4-1).

"That's our team," Leopards coach Rachel Bachtell said. "Every player has a role and everyone does their thing. We don't have one superstar, everybody has to play well."

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Young had two kills and four blocks in the opening game, helping Smithsburg take a 21-18 lead.

"Young had an outstanding game at the net," Bachtell said. "She had four blocks the first game and set the tone for the match."

South (9-4, 2-3) rallied to win six of the next seven points - five on Leopards errors - and had an opportunity to win the first game, serving for game point at 24-22. But two consecutive Rebels errors pulled Smithsburg even, Mandie Conway's kill gave the Leopards game point and another South error ended the game.

"There are certain points in games that are turning points, and that was certainly one," Bachtell said. "We couldn't capitalize on those points against Williamsport, but tonight we were able to."

Sullivan (eight kills) and Nalley (seven kills) each had three kills in the second game, and three straight aces by Martin - who finished with 22 assists - gave Smithsburg a quick 4-0 lead.

South came back with five straight points for a 5-4 lead before Smithsburg ripped off six in a row for a 10-5 lead, then ripped off seven straight to turn a 16-15 edge into a 23-15 cushion on the way to winning the game.

Bowen had four of her five kills in the third game, in which the Leopards used a five-point run to take a 16-13 lead, a four-point run for a 22-17 advantage and won the final three points on South errors to win the match.

"Both sides of the court, we were really scrappy," Bachtell said. "There weren't a lot of holes on South's side, but we were scrappy and showed what we were made of."

Brittany Hyatt had 14 assists and five aces to lead the Rebels. Chelsea Weaver had five kills and Caitlin Nicewarner added four.

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