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Grace Academy enjoying perfect season

October 13, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Coming off an 18-5 season in which Grace Academy finished second to Broadfording in the Mason Dixon Christian Conference Tournament and won the Maryland Christian Schools title - all without a single senior - Knights coach Diana Serafini had high hopes for 2006.

Her hopes have been answered.

Grace (12-0, 11-0 through Wednesday) is one of two undefeated Tri-State teams, along with No. 1 Musselman.

"We're having a great year, having lots of fun," Serafini said. "We had no seniors last year, and we worked very hard in the offseason. Eleven of our 12 players played club ball, we did jump training in the spring and we ran a team camp during the summer. So we were expecting a good year."

The Knights lean on three leaders - senior Kristin Serafini (3.25 service points, 1.99 kills and 3.75 assists per game) and juniors Megan Cox (2.47 service points, 2.02 kills, 1.88 digs) and Rebecca Morgan (2.17 service points, 2.69 kills, 1.98 digs). The all-around skills of all three players put the grace in Grace.

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"They can serve, they can hit, they can pass, they are great leaders on the team and they're the main reason why we're doing as well as we are this year," Diana Serafini said.

The Knights have their sights set on two major postseason events - the MDCC Tournament, which starts Oct. 24 and finishes with the semifinals and finals at Grace Academy on Oct. 28, and the National Association of Christian Athletes Tournament in Tennessee in November.

The MDCC title is far from a given. Cumberland Valley Christian pushed the Knights to five games in both regular-season meetings and to four games in the semifinals of the CVCS Tournament.

"CVCS is tough," Diana Serafini said. "We have beaten them so far three times, the last time we won the last game, 15-12. They are very well-coached, well-disciplined, they hustle and we have our work cut out to beat them in the playoffs."

Games to watch this week

Martinsburg Invitational, Saturday - No. 1 Musselman (11-0), No. 4 Hedgesville (7-2) and Jefferson will all take part in the Bulldogs' annual gathering of Eastern Panhandle and West Virginia state powerhouses. It's usually a good measuring stick for playoff success.

No. 2 North Hagerstown (9-1, 4-0) at Williamsport (8-4, 4-0), Tuesday - This one will in all likelihood decide the MVAL Antietam champion. The Hubs defeated the Wildcats in four games on Oct. 3 and have won nine straight (plus the McConnellsburg Tournament) since a season-opening loss to state powerhouse Liberty.

No. 7 Boonsboro (6-3, 1-1) at Williamsport, Thursday - Should the Wildcats upset the Hubs on Tuesday, this match will be of utmost importance in the Antietam race.

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