North Hagerstown's Zimmer stands up to Lee

Hubs advance to state 2A volleyball final

Hubs advance to state 2A volleyball final

November 14, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Kate Zimmer learned what they mean when they say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" on Tuesday.

Zimmer spent most of her night comfortably surrounded by her Hubs teammates during North Hagerstown's Maryland Class 2A semifinal match at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.

But right in front of her was the enemy - Maddi Lee of River Hill. She was nearly as tall as Zimmer and just as dominant around the net in what became a battle of big hitters.

By the time the last set was buried, the Hubs won out as a total unit with Zimmer on the point in a 24-26, 25-21, 26-24, 25-22 victory to move into Saturday's state final match with Rising Sun.


"Overall we played a good game," North coach Megan Crawford said. "We played our game and we played good defense. Everyone got the ball over to Hannah (Boward) for the set and then Kate and Minta (Lovell) got it down."

Lee and Zimmer went after each other like opposing linemen clashing at the line of scrimmage.

As the match grew more intense, heavy kills and tough blocks became the norm. The only difference was Zimmer hit for a higher percentage and the Hubs did an admirable job digging out Lee's kill attempts.

And, oh by the way, after the match Zimmer and Lee officially changed from adversaries to friends as both will be playing for the University of Maryland and rooming together next season.

"They caught on to some of the habits I have," Lee said. "They caught where I like to hit and put up good blocks. I have never been blocked so much in my life. I wanted to beat (Zimmer), but she's not a rival. She a good player and it will be exciting to play with her here."

But it was first things first.

North gave away a 23-18 lead in the first game as River Hill scored five straight points off the serves of Jen Taylor and the finishing of Lee to tie the game. After alternating serves, Kaitlin Drake served out the win on a Lee kill followed by a Zimmer spike that went too long to end the first game.

North found its focus in the second game and broke through 10 ties to assume leads of 19-16 and 22-17 before putting the game away. River Hill relied heavily on Lee with kill tries from the front and back rows. Meanwhile, Zimmer retired to the back row and left the heavy hitting to Lovell, which gave the Hubs more diversity in their attack.

"I realize when Kate is in the back row, we still need somebody to hit," Lovell said. "When we need it, I'll be there to put it down and I can put it down."

The match made the final turn to North's way in the third game after an unfortunate delay. River Hill's Laura Whitney was hit in the nose with a shot and was knocked unconscious, delaying the match for nearly 30 minutes as she was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

North used the break to their advantage, switching up some defensive assignments to bottle up Lee.

"Lee was in the back row and she was finding holes," Crawford said. "We changed our alignment and moved Kate in the 4 hole to stay with (Lee) all the way across the net."

The switch began to frustrate Lee, who began to hit long and had a number of her bigger hits bounce back off North's blocks.

The Hubs nearly gave away the third game, but fought back by scoring the final two points for the extra-time win.

Game 4 became a battle of big hits as all sets went to Lee to bring the Hawks back, while Zimmer and Lovell shared the work for the Hubs.

North broke a 19-19 tie with a three-point serving run by Jennifer Bowlus. The final point was the classic confrontation as Lee was rejected by one final block by Zimmer to close the match.

"At first, I was numb," Zimmer said. "I jumped up and down, but I didn't know what had just happened. Then I saw my dad and I knew we had just won. I hugged Maddi and we had a tearfest. This is hard because I'm happy we won, but sad she didn't."

Zimmer finished with 28 kills and 19 digs to pace the Hubs while Lovell had 11 kills, Alyssa Collier had 12 digs and Boward had 39 assists. Lee finished with 33 kills.

"I thought we played our best game all year," Boward said. "We made all the hits and played good defense. We bonded as a team."

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