Going out in style

Wildcats seniors make history in final prep match

Wildcats seniors make history in final prep match

November 19, 2005|By DAN KAUFFMAN

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On Friday night, the Williamsport volleyball team did what history tells us the Wildcats do most years.

Make history.

The queens of Maryland Class 1A since 2002, the Wildcats swept Poolesville 25-23, 25-21, 26-24 at University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum for their fourth consecutive title.

"I told them they just gave Williamsport another piece of history," said coach Emily Crabtree, who won her third title as a head coach to go with her title as a player on the Wildcats' first championship squad in 1981. "I know what they feel like right now. I have that sense of pride from having played on that team."


Let the record books show:

The Wildcats tied Centennial for the most state titles with 12 - a mark the Eagles set Thursday night in winning their second straight Class 3A final.

Williamsport became the fourth team to win four or more consecutive titles - joining Catonsville (1979-83), Thomas S. Wootton (1983-89) and Centennial (1991-94) - and the first to do it in Class 1A.

It was a fitting sendoff for the seniors, whose path to history started years ago at Springfield Middle School. Sammi Snodderly and Lacie Johnson, the two three-time champions, and Lauren Brown, Ashley Plume, Emily Malott and Lea Drury all made major contributions to carry the Wildcats through another successful playoff run.

Putting their experiences and emotions into words may have been more difficult.

"I'm so excited we all got to share it together," said Snodderly, the team leader in kills and digs this season. "It's the last time for us, and we've been playing together since Springfield. It was an emotional moment."

"It has to be pretty special," said Johnson, the Wildcats' other main attacking option at left hitter. "We're not a tall team, but people see us play and see ... we have it all. It was awesome to win this title and add on to the other 11 years."

"I couldn't ask for better teammates," said Drury, whose sets the past two years made it all go. "This will definitely be something to remember forever."

"I can't believe this happened again," said Malott, who teamed with Brown to give Williamsport strong play in the middle as a hitter and blocker. "We worked really hard and we deserve it. Each person put something toward the team. It's a team victory."

"I couldn't have asked for a better team to do it with," said Brown. "It's sad in a way because we're all going our separate ways, but it was a really good way to end it."

"Years and years of hard work. It's the end of a chapter of my life," said Plume, a back-row specialist who came up big at the service line for the Wildcats on Friday. "Volleyball has been such a big part of it. ... We had a title to defend, and we just picked it up. When it came down to it, it was who wanted it more."

Plume's next three words summarized the evening perfectly.

"It was us."

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