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Growden, motivated by personal loss, lifts Wildcats

September 15, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Williamsport junior outside hitter Hailee Growden dedicated Thursday night's volleyball match to her great-grandmother, who recently passed away.

Growden had 17 service points, including eight aces, to help the Wildcats defeat South Hagerstown, 25-23, 16-25, 25-10, 25-18.

After Williamsport (2-1) and South (0-3) split the first two games, the Wildcats led 3-2 in the third game when Growden stepped to the service line. Her 13-point run sent the Wildcats on their way to victory.

"It felt really good to get all of those serves in," Growden said. "My great grandmother's death pushed me to do it. It encouraged the team to play their heart out. We eventually pulled it together and made it work. ... I took all of my anger out from the loss to South in the previous game with my hard serve."

"Hailee has a tough serve," Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. "When she is on, her serves are very hard to return. When somebody steps up to the service line and serves consistent like that, it helps the rest of your game fall into place. It made us relax and not be so tense."

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Christine Barnes had 33 assists, while Jessica Bennett had 21 kills and 18 digs for Williamsport. Emily Cook added 11 digs and Cayla Broadwater had five kills.

"We're lucky to come out with a victory," Crabtree said. "We started kind of slow. Our passing was not there during the first two games. We were not playing aggressive volleyball. South played well and they gave us fits. Finally, we seemed to find our momentum in the third game and just built on it. We still have work to do. We have to improve our passing and our communication."

Katie Moyseenko had 19 assists and Brittany Hyatt added 11 digs, nine service points and eight kills for South. Chelsea Weaver had 13 digs and five kills, while Kaitlyn Beard had 14 service points.

"Any time you can get a win from Williamsport, you are playing well," Rebels coach Chuck Weaver said. "We are starting to come together a little bit. I am proud of them."

Williamsport swept the JV match, 25-11, 25-10.

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