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Williamsport pays back Southern Garrett

November 08, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - For the 10th straight year, the Williamsport volleyball team will play for the Maryland Class 1A West title.

The Wildcats swept Southern Garrett - which eliminated Williamsport in last year's region final to end the Wildcats' run of four straight state titles - 25-20, 25-15, 25-18 on Wednesday night in the semifinals.

Williamsport (15-2) will host Boonsboro in the region final Friday at 6 p.m. The Wildcats can earn their 20th region title in 27 years.

"We played well enough to win," said Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree, who played on the Wildcats' first region championship team during her senior year in 1981. "Our passing game struggled again tonight at the beginning of the match. I think we overpowered them with our hitting game. They kept us on our toes on defense with their tipping game.

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"This win puts us one step closer to our goal of making it back to states."

Senior setter Christine Barnes' eight straight service points in Game 2 gave the Wildcats a 9-1 lead over the Rams (13-3). Game 2 ended when Barnes added five more service points and Cayla Broadwater capped it with a kill.

"Once our defense was on and our serves were on, then everything fell into place," Barnes said. "I missed some serves in the first game. I knew I had to take my time, concentrate and put them in play.

"We were motivated before the match to come out and play our best. We look good right now. We practice hard and we play hard."

Barnes finished with 17 service points - including seven aces - and 14 assists.

Senior outside hitter Hailee Growden had seven kills and five aces for the Wildcats.

"(The win) was a great achievement for our seniors," Growden said. "The hitting game was pretty solid. Our middles were hitting pretty good, even though they had to make some adjustments."

Lindsey Kneisley had 15 assists, while Brittany Malott added five kills and four aces for Williamsport. Broadwater had seven kills and three blocks, while Katie Koontz also had seven kills.

"We gave them too much of an opportunity to bring the ball right back at us," Southern Garrett coach Sue Newton said. "Cayla Broadwater is the strongest middle hitter we have faced all year."

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