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Boward sets up the Hubs

November 06, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

Call them the dynamic duo.

Kate Zimmer had 22 kills and Hannah Boward had 40 assists as the top-seeded North Hagerstown volleyball team swept ninth-seeded Northwood 25-21, 25-14, 25-12 Monday night in the Maryland Class 2A West quarterfinals.

Boward's first assist of the night - on a Zimmer kill - gave North a 3-0 lead in Game 1 and gave Boward 1,000 assists for her career. Zimmer reached the 1,000-kill milestone last month and now has 1,091 for her career.

"We work well together," Boward said. "But it's basically one big team effort. I couldn't get the assists without the passes. Everything has to click."

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Everything seemed to click Monday for the Hubs (15-1), who will host rival South Hagerstown in a semifinal match Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

North never trailed Northwood (7-9) at any point. Game 1 was tied seven times - the last at 15-15 - before North pulled away.

"The first game was a little rough," Boward said. "But the second and third games, we just knew we had to work together and come out strong."

Five straight service points by Karli Powers shot North out to a 6-0 lead in Game 2. After the Gladiators went on a run to cut their deficit to 9-6, Zimmer and Boward hooked up for a kill to end Northwood's momentum. Zimmer then served nine straight points for a 19-6 Hubs lead to all but wrap it up.

Lauren Martin served North to a 5-0 lead in Game 3, and Courtney Bowlus ended the match with seven straight service points, including four aces. The Hubs scored their final point of the night on one of Minta Lovell's 16 kills.

"We came out expecting them to be a good team," Zimmer said. "We've been practicing really hard for this part of the season, and we were prepared."

After the match, North coach Megan Crawford presented the game ball to Boward to honor the senior setter's milestone achievement.

"(Boward) has improved throughout the season," Crawford said. "She's got a lot to carry on her shoulders, and she's done well. Hopefully she's only going to continue to get better throughout the playoffs."

In their only matchup this season, North defeated South in three games.

"They're going to be ready to come after us," Crawford said. "We're going to have to come ready to play."

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