Morgan gets top acclaim among Spikefest stars

December 10, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Grace Academy senior Rebecca Morgan felt right at home in the second annual All-Star Spikefest on Saturday night.

Morgan, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter, had 14 kills, four blocks and 21 digs for the Antietam Team, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Potomac Team 22-25, 26-28, 25-16, 25-20, 20-18 in the showcase event for the Tri-State area's top seniors.

"We were all hoping for a real competitive game, so it turned out real good," said Morgan, who won MVP honors. "The beginning was a little rough ... but once we got warmed up, I was able to see some open spots."

"She's very athletic, has a tough serve, moves well and is a good hitter," Antietam coach Ann Reynolds said. "It just took everyone playing a little while for the setters and hitters to click."


Potomac took a 2-0 lead behind the attack of Mercersburg Academy middle hitter Cree Riley and the setting of Williamsport's Lindsey Kneisley and South Hagerstown's Brittany Hyatt. Riley had 10 kills and two blocks in the first two games - she finished with a game-high 16 kills and five blocks - while Kneisley had six assists in Game 1 and Hyatt eight assists in Game 2. Hyatt finished with 13 assists and Kneisley added 10.

"All the setters are really good, they put it right where I want it," Riley said. "They make it easy."

Antietam started turning the tide in Game 3. Morgan and Greencastle's Katie Lutz each had two kills and two blocks, Williamsport's Hailee Growden also had two kills, Boonsboro's Tara Garver had four assists and Musselman's Chelsea Wheaton added three assists.

North Hagerstown's Kate Zimmer had three kills and two blocks, Morgan had three kills and Lutz added two as Antietam stayed hot in Game 4. Hubs setter Hannah Boward had three assists and two aces, and Garver added three assists and a kill.

Zimmer had three kills, Garver had two kills and an assist, and Wheaton added two assists and two aces as Antietam pulled out a back-and-forth Game 5 - overcoming a spectacular effort by Greencastle setter Kortney Eshleman, who had eight assists, two kills and a block for Potomac. Eshleman finished with 19 assists, 15 digs and five kills on the night.

"She's a very smart player," said Potomac coach Shan Sell of Jefferson. "She could step in, make a good set, attack the ball and is a good blocker. She comes from a long line of good players in her family."

Everyone had their turn in the spotlight. For Antietam, Wheaton finished woth 10 assists and six aces, Zimmer had nine kills, six blocks and 14 digs, Garver finished with 11 assists, Boward added seven assists, Growden made 17 digs and Chambersburg's Courtney Jessell had three blocks.

"It was awesome. Not much coaching is needed when you have so much talent," Reynolds said. "You just give them little tips and they do it. It's fun to watch all of them play."

North Hagerstown's Jen Bowlus was the defensive star with 28 digs, while St. James' Heather Lowery added 16 digs for Potomac. Hedgesville's Lindsey Hadley had 10 kills, Chambersburg's Justine Howe had six kills, Waynesboro's Gillian Hollen had five kills and four blocks, and Williamsport's Christine Barnes added seven assists.

"You have to give a lot of credit to the (high school) coaches and these kids," Sell said. "You can't ask for more than a five-game match that goes down to the end. There were strong hitters, tough blockers, defense, serving ... if you left disappointed, something's wrong."

Grace Academy's Lauren Cox, Chambersburg's Katie Frelin, Williamsport's Katie Koontz and Broadfording's Emily Stransky also played for Antietam. Boonsboro's Katie Gantz and Musselman's Katie Kees also played for Potomac.

Team North defeated Team South 25-17, 25-22 in the Washington County Eighth Grade All-Star Game.

Smithsburg's Sarah Shives won MVP honors after dishing out eight assists, while Northern's Autumn Fisher had seven kills for Team North.

Springfield's Summer Neff had four assists and five digs, and Boonsboro's Tiffany Rohrer added five digs for Team South. Boonsboro's Katie Lum had three kills.

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