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Hagerstown Community College plays a volleyball game unlike any other

Hawks win highest-scoring game ever at nationals, place 7th

Hawks win highest-scoring game ever at nationals, place 7th

November 20, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

It was the "Energizer" of volleyball games, one that kept going ... and going ... and going - straight into the NJCAA record book.

No, that was not a misprint in Sunday's Herald-Mail. Hagerstown Community College really did defeat Des Moines Area Community College 55-53 in Game 3 of the Hawks' five-game victory for seventh place Saturday at the NJCAA Division II national tournament at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College.

"That's what everyone thought. Everyone was like, 'Dang it, The Herald-Mail made a typo!'" Hawks coach Beth Domenico said. "And they thought I was crazy when I said, 'No, it wasn't.'"

The 108 total points set an NJCAA single-game record, according to Amy Tagliareni, the NJCAA director of sports information and media relations.

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"I knew it had to have been, because I've never heard of a game going that high," HCC sophomore Sammi Snodderly said. "I was on the court and I usually don't look at the score, but I looked up and it was 38-37 and I was like, 'Holy crap!' It just kept going point for point, and we all just figured we had to end it, it had to stop now. It was like playing two games in one game."

Through 2006, the NCAA record for all divisions was 94 points - Georgia Tech's 48-46 victory over Minnesota in 2004.

To put it in another perspective, HCC's entire match against Baltimore City - a 30-5, 30-4, 30-5 rout on Sept. 25 - had fewer points (104) than Saturday's third game.

"As soon as we got into the 40s, I was thinking, 'Man, this is pretty crazy,'" Hawks sophomore setter Jessica Ambrose said. "Once we hit the 50s, that was nuts. There really was a point we didn't think it would end, it kept going back and forth. They kept getting up a point and then we'd tie it.

"It was unbelievable. I can't even explain it, the energy we had to use was exhausting. But I don't think any of us really got tired, our adrenaline was flowing so much, it was exciting."

The players weren't the only ones who had to take a deep breath after the game.

"The fourth game, I usually stand up, but I don't think I stood up much at all," Domenico said. "I was exhausted watching it. (Des Moines) fans, when they have game point, they beat on the bleachers, and I can't tell you how many times they could have had game point, and us too, and we sided out and sided out. At one point I looked up and it's 44-44 and I was like, 'Holy cow!' ... It was like slow motion."

The Hawks took a 2-1 lead when they finally won the game, and though Des Moines came back to win Game 4, HCC (42-6) finished off a much-needed victory after two straight losses Thursday and Friday.

"The weekend was up and down. We won our first (match) and we won our last," Snodderly said. "Beth told us seventh place is like our first place, it's the best we can do now, and she wanted us to go out and have fun, and that's what we did."

"I'm so happy they regrouped for that last match," Domenico said. "I got the feeling they didn't even want to play on Saturday, but I knew I had to put a smile on my face and act like I wanted to coach this game. All the games Saturday are on center court, so that made it a bigger deal. The girls took it and ran with it. ... Not many teams get to end their season with a win, and we did. It was just an awesome way to end the season."

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