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Wildcats too much for Blazers

November 06, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The second-seeded Williamsport volleyball team overcame a shaky start to sweep Clear Spring 25-22, 25-9, 25-18 in the Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinals Monday night.

Williamsport (14-2) will host third-seeded and defending region champion Southern Garrett in the semifinals Wednesday.

"I was a little worried in the first game," Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. "We were flat and Clear Spring came out strong. Our serve receiving was not there at the beginning of the first game. Once we started passing the ball, our offense took over. We were unstoppable."

Clear Spring coach Kim Malphurs was trying to figure out what went wrong with her team.

"We started out great, but then we just went downhill," Malphurs said. "I don't know what happened. I wish I knew. It seems like different individual things broke down at different times. Maybe it was youth and inexperience. I felt that we played very weak defense tonight."

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Brittany Malott had 16 service points and five aces, while Cayla Broadwater had nine service points, six kills and five blocks for Williamsport. Christine Barnes and Lindsey Kneisley had 12 assists each, while Hailee Growden and Katie Koontz had seven kills each for the Wildcats. Barnes added three aces.

Amanda Jenkins had seven kills, while Lindsay Lacy added four aces and five kills for Clear Spring (9-7). Emily Steinacker and Katie Blickenstaff had six assists each for the Blazers.

Clear Spring jumped out to an 11-3 lead during the first game, before Williamsport started its comeback. Broadwater got seven service points in a row to put the Wildcats ahead 19-16. The Wildcats eventually got their game point on a game-ending block by Broadwater.

Williamsport was on top 8-5 in the second game when Malott stepped to the service line and came through with 13 straight service points to give the Wildcats a 21-5 lead.

"It's the best that my serving has been all year," Malott said. "I just relaxed and had fun. Relaxing helped me to concentrate better. We just had our moments and we got the momentum. If we play as a whole and if we act like the family that we are, then we will go far in the tournament."

During the third game, Barnes put together a string of five service points to increase Williamsport's advantage to 18-11.

"When Brittany (Malott) served 13 points in a row in game two, that gave us a big boost," Crabtree said. "I think Clear Spring lost their fight. They're young and they'll be back next year for sure."

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