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'Cats upset No. 2 Hubs in 5 games

October 18, 2006|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - It can't get any closer than this.

The volleyball showdown for first place in the MVAL Antietam between North Hagerstown and Williamsport took five games to decide Tuesday. When it was over, the Wildcats had ended the No. 2 Hubs' 10-match winning streak by winning 24-26, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 15-13.

"It was a hard-fought match for both teams," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "Volleyball is definitely a game of momentum. We were lucky to have the momentum at the end of the match. I think we're peaking at the right time. The end of the season is when you want to play the hardest and your best as a team. It's important for everyone to step up and contribute."

The Wildcats (9-4, 5-0) started the deciding game by getting a point on a sideout and four points by Christine Barnes for a 5-0 lead.

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The Hubs (10-2, 5-1) evened the score at 5-5 as they got a point on a sideout and four points by Jen Bowlus.

After that, the lead went back and forth.

It looked like the Hubs were heading for the win when they went up 12-10 after Brooke Powell chalked up three points.

But the Wildcats got a point on a sideout and three points by Jessica Bennett, including an ace on the third point, to take the lead for good at 14-12 and move within one point of match victory.

Kierra Nelson made a block to help the Hubs get a point on a sideout to trim the lead down to 14-13.

However, Hailee Growden came through with a match-ending kill as the Wildcats got their final point on a sideout to win the match.

"Tonight, it was really evenly matched," said Bennett, who finished with 26 digs, 15 kills and nine service points. "But at the end, we came together as a team. That is what helped us to pull out the match.

"I just stayed focused. I knew what I had to do. So, I just did what I could. If we keep playing like we are now, I think that we will do well for the rest of the season."

Growden had 15 digs, 14 service points and 10 kills for Williamsport, while Lindsey Kneisley had 16 service points and 15 assists, Barnes contributed 20 assists and 10 service points and Growden and Kneisley added five aces each.

Brittany Horn had 10 blocks and seven kills, Brittany Malott added 15 digs and Jessica Ellis had 14 digs for Williamsport. Katie Koontz added six kills and three blocks, while Cayla Broadwater had four kills and four blocks for the Wildcats.

Kate Zimmer had 20 digs, 18 kills and six blocks, while Bowlus had 18 digs and 16 service points for North. Powell collected 13 digs, 12 kills and 10 service points, while Hannah Boward added 13 assists and eight digs for the Hubs. Karli Powers contributed 15 assists, Amelia Plank added 11 service points and Kelly Toms had eight kills in the loss.

"We didn't play consistent," North coach Megan Crawford said. "We were up and we were down. You can't do that when you're playing a team like Williamsport. They're going to jump on you when they have a chance and that is what they did tonight. They played tough and they didn't let anything hit the floor."

Williamsport swept the JV match, 25-15, 26-24.

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