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Hubs see light to turn off Knights

November 07, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

When the going got tough Monday night against Middletown in a Maryland Class 2A West quarterfinal, North Hagerstown's volleyball team turned to imposing middle hitter Kate Zimmer.

Zimmer had 17 kills, including eight in the second game - seven after the Hubs fell behind, 12-4 - and added 10 service points as North fought through some rough moments for a 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 sweep of the Knights.

Amelia Plank's five straight service points - including two kills and a block by Zimmer - cut Middletown's lead to 12-10 in the second game. Hannah Boward later served three straight points - including two Zimmer kills - to tie the game at 14.

"We could have folded and I'm glad we didn't," North coach Megan Crawford said. "Eight points is a lot in rally scoring. ... They like to scare me, but I'm glad they came through."

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Kelly Toms had three kills in the game and Kierra Nelson had two - both coming on key points late - before Zimmer's final two kills of the game gave the second-seeded Hubs (13-2) the win.

"Plank dug a lot of balls and she serve-received real well tonight," Crawford said. "Once we got our passing game going, Kate got going and Kelly, Kierra and Brooke (Powell) all had key kills at points."

In a choppy Game 3 in which Middletown (5-11) made 16 errors and North nine, Zimmer's 17th and final kill of the match cut the Knights' lead to one at 23-22, and Zimmer served the final three points of the game - all ending on Knights miscues - to wrap it up.

In all, North committed 22 errors - Middletown made 33 - but the Hubs found a way around the missteps. Karli Powers had 16 assists and five service points, Hannah Boward had 12 assists and seven service points, Toms and Nelson each had five kills, Plank had eight service points, Powell had three kills and Jen Bowlus had six service points.

Still, it was an uneven effort by North, which will have to play much better at home in Wednesday's semifinals to get past Francis Scott Key, the Thomas Johnson Tournament champions.

"We're going to have to play a lot better, more consistent all around," Crawford said. "If we play better, we'll see what happens."

Meri Demoss had 13 kills, Kelsey House had eight kills, Elli Vandegrift had five kills and four aces and Brittany Tribbet had 25 assists for Middletown.

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