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Hubs sweep Rebels, reach 2A West final

November 08, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Last season, when North Hagerstown's volleyball team traveled to Liberty for the Maryland Class 2A West final, the Hubs were decided underdogs.

The situation is reversed this season. Top-seeded North - which eliminated rival South Hagerstown 25-16, 25-23, 25-16 in Wednesday's semifinals - will host the final Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Middletown, which defeated Liberty in the other semifinal.

The Hubs (16-1) will be the favorites, having defeated the Knights 27-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-18 on Sept. 25.

"The girls realize we are a good team," North coach Megan Crawford said. "If we play like we know how, we'll be OK. If we get in a slump and get down, that's when we get in trouble."

The Hubs know what it's like to be in a nail-biter - North holds five five-game victories this season, and the Hubs were down 2-0 or 2-1 in three of them. But so far in the playoffs, it's been smooth sailing with a pair of sweeps.

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"I think our team as a whole has really come together," North senior Kate Zimmer said. "We pull through the tight times and celebrate the good times. We just need to keep doing what we've been doing, keep working hard and not get flustered if we get in a hole, to work out of it."

North can always count on Zimmer and senior setter Hannah Boward to lead the way. Boward had 26 assists and 11 service points against South (10-7), while Zimmer finished with 20 kills and three blocks.

"They're seniors and our leaders out there," Crawford said. "They played well tonight."

So did everyone else, as the Hubs played a relatively clean match while the Rebels struggled. North committed just 19 errors to South's 39, and the Hubs' defense got to a lot of South's kill attempts, led by Alyssa Collier (15 digs, 10 service points) and Amelia Plank (11 digs).

"Defense ... that's the big reason why we won," Crawford said. "South has some big hitters and we were in the right place at the right time."

Minta Lovell had seven kills and Karli Powers added eight service points for the Hubs.

Brittany Hyatt had 12 assists and eight kills, Sarah Burgan had 13 assists, Rebecca Pearl had 12 kills and Mar'ke Cosley added seven service points for the Rebels.

"I'm proud of my Lady Rebels," South coach Chuck Weaver said. "North played great defense tonight."

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