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Warriors avenge lone loss vs. Williamsport

October 21, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - The message Boonsboro volleyball coach Christy Faller gave the No. 3 Warriors was clear: Win Thursday night's first game against No. 2 Williamsport, and go from there.

Tara Garver took care of the first part, and from there, the Warriors avenged a five-game loss to the Wildcats on Sept. 29 with a 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 25-15 victory, giving Boonsboro a clear path to its second straight MVAL Antietam title.

"I was telling them from the beginning we have to win the first game," Boonsboro coach Christy Faller said. "We came out with enough energy and enthusiasm to do that."

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The Warriors (10-1, 4-0) jumped out to a 7-3 lead. Williamsport (11-2, 5-1) battled back to take a 19-16 lead, led by Lacie Johnson, who had six of her game-high 17 kills in the first game.

But Boonsboro put together two 4-0 runs. A pair of kills by Kim Snavely sparked the first run, and Garver's three consecutive kills finished off the second run and the game. Garver matched Johnson with six kills in the game and had 16 in the match.

"To have Game 1 under our belt was a big relief," said Kasi Harris, who had 16 digs and six blocks for Boonsboro. "Having that one, you know you only need two more, and if they should win a game, you're still in it."

The Warriors came out on fire in Game 2, racing out to a 14-3 lead behind two kills each from Snavely and Garver and three aces by Lia VanCleave. The Wildcats came roaring back behind Sammi Snodderly (five kills) and Jessica Bennett (three), and saved six game points in cutting the lead to 24-23, but Katie Gantz's kill finally gave Boonsboro a 2-0 lead.

"Game 2 was huge," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "If we could have pulled that off, everything would have been different."

With the Warriors drained by two tough games - and with the Wildcats feeling good about a comeback that almost was - Williamsport blitzed Boonsboro in Game 3. Johnson had five kills and Snodderly and Bennett had three each.

The Warriors regrouped, refocused, and blitzed the Wildcats just as thoroughly in Game 4. Boonsboro opened the game with a 7-2 run, and a 12-3 run later made it 24-9. Williamsport saved six match points, but a service error ended the Wildcats' hopes of an unlikely rally.

"We had to get that fourth game," Faller said. "With (Williamsport), no lead is big enough."

"We had the momentum going into Game 3. We just suffered a letdown in Game 4," Crabtree said. "The ball was bouncing Boonsboro's way. Trickles over the net, blocks out of bounds, it just didn't go our way. We just have to keep doing what we've been doing, and hope it's our night in the playoffs."

Jessica Ambrose had 21 assists and 13 digs for Boonsboro. Lea Drury had 42 assists and Emily Malott added 21 digs for Williamsport.

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