North eliminates Francis Scott Key in 2A West

November 09, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

The North Hagerstown volleyball team advanced to the Maryland Class 2A West semifinals with a sweep of Francis Scott Key on Monday.

Although "sweep" probably makes it sound easier than it was for the third-seeded Hubs

"You see 3-0 in the newspaper, it looks like we just killed them," North coach Corry Eagler said. "But we didn't."

The Hubs, who trailed in each game, prevailed, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22. They will travel to play second-seeded Fort Hill on Wednesday.


"I think everybody realized that if we lost, we were done," said North senior Katie Plume, who had seven kills, 41 digs and four aces. "The difference was our hitting and we had better coverage. I think we wanted it more."

Trailing 14-12 in the first game, the Hubs got the blast of momentum they needed on a kill by Kierra Nelson. That made it a one-point game and put Brooke Ward on the service line, where she delivered four straight points, including an ace, to put North in front to stay.

It wasn't the prettiest or smoothest game. But considering the Hubs (15-2) were without starting middle hitter Kaitlin Zimmer, who didn't see action until the third game due to a wrist injury, they gladly took it.

"We totally changed our lineup because Kaitlin Zimmer was out. We had some people in new positions," Eagler said. "It was chaos in the first game, but it got better."

Not immediately, however, as FSK (10-6) jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second game.

With Ariel Kifer serving, North took its first lead of the game at 19-18. With the game tied at 22-22, Ward served two straight points to set up match point. After FSK answered to make it 24-23, Plume put the game away with a kill.

"We had some mistakes, but we came back," said Nelson, who had seven kills and four blocks. "We could have done better, but we picked it up when we needed to."

FSK jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third game. Behind the serving of Lindsey Grove, who delivered five straight points, North fought back to go up, 7-5. After FSK regained the lead at 17-16, Grove answered from the line again, serving three straight points to put the Hubs ahead for good.

With the Eagles trailing 24-22, Nicole Szewczyk couldn't make it any closer for FSK, as her serve sailed out of bounds and North landed the match.

Kifer finished with 36 digs, while Zimmer had six blocks and Ward had five kills.

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