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Applemen plant seed for future

October 10, 2007|By JOHN O'BRIEN / Staff Correspondent

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Musselman's volleyball team sure looks like it is eager to take on a tough stretch of the schedule.

Erica Manor posted 12 kills and No. 6 Musselman improved to 29-4-1 Tuesday with a sweep of Jefferson that took only 49 minutes, setting up the Applemen's Thursday showdown at Frankfort, one of the top teams in Class AA.

Musselman comes back on Saturday to share a pool with Frankfort at the Martinsburg Invitational, along with Philip Barbour - another ranked Class AA team - and perennial Class AAA power Parkersburg.

"We really played well," Musselman coach Shawn Martz said. "This weekend, the girls really came together (in winning a tournament at Fort Hill). Tonight, we played pretty well."

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And that may be an understatement. Musselman won by scores of 25-16, 25-7, 25-7.

"We tried to prepare for their jump serves yesterday in practice," Jefferson coach Shan Sell said. "It's hard to mimic the skill that they have.

"We got off to a slow start in game one, but I thought we played with them. In game two, we just fell off."

Jefferson (4-9) stayed with the Applemen in the first game until Musselman ran off seven straight points, extending a 9-7 lead to 16-7. It began with Jefferson's Polly Milbourne's serve going out of bounds and finished with an ace by Kristen Kisner.

Musselman scored the first five points of the second game, a streak ended by a kill from Dezirea Clinton. The Cougars' game two struggles carried into the third game, where Jefferson found itself quickly down 11-2.

Katie Kees added five kills for Musselman, which also received 24 assists from Chelsea Wheaton. Sabrina Nicewarner had 11 service points and three aces, and Kisner, Wheaton and Melissa Hebanthal each scored seven service points. Wheaton registered three aces.

In attempting to craft an offensive attack, there have been good and bad days for his young team, Sell said.

"Some days yes, some days no. We've had a fairly good offensive season," he said. "We've spread the ball around and got some production from different positions. We're making progress, even though our record might not reflect it."

That record might take another hit Thursday, when Jefferson plays Hedgesville.

"You go from playing the No. 3 team in the state to playing No. 2," Sell said.

At the Martinsburg Invitational, Jefferson will again deal with the Eagles in its pool. Musselman, which has lost to Hedgesville three times this year, won't get a chance for revenge unless it makes it out of its pool, where Parkersburg is waiting.

The Big Red won Parkersburg South's Fall Brawl last weekend.

"We're in a tough pool," Martz said. "Who knows if we'll face Hedgesville? Winning the pool is our first worry."

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