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Wildcats 1A West champs again

November 13, 2004

ACCIDENT, Md. - Chalk another regional volleyball title up for Williamsport.

Lacie Johnson had 15 kills and 16 service point and Sammi Snodderly had 17 kills and five blocks as the Wildcats put behind a Game 1 loss to Southern Garrett and beat the Rams 16-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-21 in the Class 1A West final Friday night. It is Williamsport's 18th regional title.

"Lacie Johnson had an awesome night. She was hitting the ball, putting it in holes and had a really nice night," Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. "It was a total team effort, everybody contributed and it was a good all-around victory."

The Wildcats (16-2) - two-time defending state champions - will play in the state semifinals on Wednesday at CCBC-Essex.

Behind hitters Sarah Stephens (seven kills) and Chelsea Wassell (six kills, three blocks), the tall Rams (15-2) surprised Williamsport out of the gate.

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"They were better than we thoght they would be," Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. "We knew they were tough, their one loss was to Fort Hill and (Fort Hill) took North (Hagerstown) to five games. We just came out real flat in first game, and it might have been little bus lag. I'm not making excuses, but we couldn't put it together. ... We weren't covering their hitters like we should have. It was a little different game than we are used to."

To get on track, Williamsport let off the gas and turned to the finesse game, while getting its rotations right defensively to stuff the Rams' own attack. Malott had eight blocks, Brown six and setter Beth Ryan an uncharacteristic four (along with 14 assists).

"Emily and Lauren stepped it up at the net and played bigger than they are," Crabtree said.

Lea Drury added 22 assists amd 17 service points to help the Wildcats put away Southern Garrett.

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