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Ties unbind as Hubs sweep

October 27, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

The Clear Spring and North Hagerstown volleyball teams were even for much of their MVAL Antietam showdown Thursday night.

The difference in the match was No. 3 North's ability to close on Senior Night.

The Hubs powered through a flurry of ties in each game and came up big at the finish to post a 25-21, 25-15, 25-21 sweep of the Blazers.

"We've been up and down," said Clear Spring coach Kim Malphurs. "There were times this year when we played well at the end of games and there have been times when we haven't. It's been kind of a roller-coaster ride."

North broke a 19-19 tie in the opening game by scoring four straight points and six of the last eight. The Hubs (12-2, 6-1) pulled away midway through the second game and scored 13 of 16 to end it before coming up especially clutch in the third game.

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With the game knotted at 21-21, Jen Bowlus dashed past the back line to save a ball from going out of bounds. She bumped it to Brooke Powell, who sent it over the net, untouched by the surprised Blazers (5-7, 3-3). The Hubs went on to score the last three points, capped by Kate Zimmer's 15th kill.

"With it being Senior Night, the girls came out pretty pumped up and ready to go," said North coach Megan Crawford. "We didn't play our best game and we're glad to pull out the win.

"We weren't passing very well and serving became a big factor for us."

The Hubs had a four-headed attack at the service line. Amelia Plank led with 11 service points, Hannah Boward had 10, Karli Powers added nine and Bowlus chipped in with eight.

"We can usually count on them. They're very consistent and they all serve nice floaters over the net," Crawford said.

Serving was key for the Hubs to come out on top, but Clear Spring still didn't make it any easier. The Blazers' biggest lead was just two points, but they pushed the Hubs into 26 ties in the match - 11 in the last game - before being done in by unforced errors.

"Our serving was decent, it was mostly errors in judgment," Malphurs said. "And we didn't take advantage of all the free balls. I think a lot of it goes to the old saying of us being a young team. Only time and experience is going to correct those things."

Emily Pinkham, Amanda Jenkins and Lindsay Lacy each had six kills for the Blazers. Emily Steinacker had 12 assists.

Boward finished with nine assists and Powers had seven for the Hubs. Powell had six kills and 11 digs. Zimmer had four blocks and Kierra Nelson added three.

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