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Freshmen carry HCC to nationals

October 30, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College volleyball team found out early Sunday that Karey Toms, its only sophomore, would not play after she sprained her left ankle on Saturday.

But the Hawks' freshmen showed ample court experience as the Hawks swept both of their matches to win their fourth straight Region XX Volleyball Tournament title at the HCC athletic complex.

Hagerstown (34-12), ranked 17th in the latest NJCAA Division II poll, advances to the Division II national tournament at Scottsdale, Ariz., beginning Nov. 16.

Jessica Ambrose had 13 service points, while Sammi Snodderly and Lauren Brown added 11 service points each to help HCC sweep the College of Southern Maryland 30-15, 30-21 and 30-21 in the semifinals.

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Kim Snavely had 15 service points and Lea Drury added 10 to help HCC sweep Essex 30-23, 30-15 and 30-24 in the championship match.

Essex swept Frederick 30-27, 30-24 and 30-13 in the other semifinal.

Snodderly, who was named the Region XX Tournament MVP, said the Hawks had the proper intensity for the tournament.

"At the beginning, when they said Karey wasn't playing, we started to get worried," Snodderly said. "But then we were thinking that we can win it for her, since she is the only sophomore. The coaches have been talking about the tournament all year. This is what we've been fired up for."

Ambrose, Snavely and Caitlyn Selby joined Snodderly on the All-Tournament Team.

"I think the girls were playing very consistently this whole weekend," HCC coach Beth Domenico said. "It was the most consistent tournament that we ever had. The girls really turned it on when they needed to. They knew that this tournament meant everything to this season and they played like the team that I knew they could."

Snodderly collected 25 kills and 16 digs in the tournament, while Ambrose had 74 assists. Brown had 11 kills and seven aces, China Miller had 12 kills and seven blocks, Snavely had 35 digs, Selby had 21 kills, Drury had 17 digs and Nikki Wirth had 12 kills.

Domenico was really with impressed with the performance of her hitters.

"I think our hitters really mixed their hits up in both matches and that threw off the other team's defense," Domenico added. "We have been working on that with the hitters all season. Now, we will be working towards putting on another great show at nationals."

Notes: Toms and Snodderly also were named to the Region XX All-Region First Team. Snavely was selected to the second team, while Ambrose and Selby received honorable mention.

Toms and College of Southern Maryland's Janea Burt were All-American nominees for Region XX.

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