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Hubs know how to thrill

November 13, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Give North Hagerstown's volleyball team this much: They know how to build suspense.

The Hubs (17-1) have a habit of pushing things right to the brink this season. They've played six five-game matches in 2007, and they've won all of them - the last a 25-21, 21-25, 25-27, 25-15, 15-4 triumph over Middletown on Saturday in the Maryland Class 2A West final to secure a berth at states.

"It's kind of a running joke with our team and five-game matches," said senior Kate Zimmer. "We don't get jittery and we don't panic. We know we can come back."

"They know the fifth game only goes to 15, and that they have to start fast," North coach Megan Crawford said. "We got a sideout and we got the momentum."

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The Hubs will face River Hill today at 6 p.m. in the Class 2A state semifinals at University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. The 2A state final will be played Saturday at noon.

North's senior tandem of Zimmer, who had a career-high 37 kills despite battling several ailments Saturday, and Hannah Boward, who dished out 49 assists, have carried the Hubs this season.

Zimmer got her 1,000th career kill against Frederick on Oct. 18, and Boward passed the 1,000-assists mark in the 2A West quarterfinals against Northwood on Nov. 5.

But they alone were not enough to get past Middletown on Saturday, nor will they alone be enough to win the state title.

When Zimmer is in the back row, the Hubs need seniors Minta Lovell and Jennifer Bowlus to provide offense.

North needs everyone to play well defensively. When that happens, as it did in the 2A West semifinals against rival South Hagerstown and in the final two games against Middletown, the Hubs are tough to beat.

"We knew we had to come together," Boward said about the 2A West final. "It was a calculus problem, everything had to come together to solve the puzzle."

"Our whole team, at the start we just wanted a winning season," Zimmer said. "We didn't know how good we could be because we lost a lot of seniors from last year. But we thought halfway through the season we could (win the region), and we did."

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