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No. 1 Musselman drops Martinsburg

October 01, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

INWOOD, W.Va. -- Musselman outside hitter Erica Manor recorded her 1,000th kill over the weekend and was presented with the game ball before the No. 1 Applemen took on Martinsburg on Tuesday night.

The senior phenom proceeded by presenting the Bulldogs spikes No. 1,066 through 1,089 to lead Musselman to a 25-14, 24-26, 25-16, 25-12 home victory.

"It's always good to have a go-to girl," said Musselman coach Shawn Martz. "We have two pretty good outside hitters, but to have a Division I recruit out there is really nice. She changes the games."

Manor had 23 kills Tuesday night, days after slamming her 1,000th kill at the Fort Hill Tournament on Saturday. Manor reached the milestone in the first game of the tournament -- she finished the day with 69 -- and is already closer to her 1,100th prep kill.

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"It's a great honor," said Manor, who has given a verbal commitment to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. "It's been a goal of mine since I was a sophomore going into my first varsity year. I'm happy to have it."

Manor accepted the game ball then went straight to work against the rival Bulldogs (6-1). She had four kills in the opening game and six in each of the second and third games before finishing with seven in the clinching fourth game.

She ran into some trouble in the game 2 loss, getting turned away by Martinsburg blocks on five other kill attempts.

But she backed away from the net and found the open spots on the floor.

"They did a good job with their blocks in that game," said Manor, who had 618 kills as a junior and already has 339 this year. "I tried to change that by waiting and tipping a little more. They played well against us."

The aggressive strategy worked for the Bulldogs -- even if it was for only one game -- as they built a 23-18 lead. They withstood a fierce Musselman rally to take a game from the No. 1 Applemen (7-0) and avoid a sweep.

"I wanted four games and I got my four games. I'm not unsatisfied at all," said Martinsburg coach Charity Cobb. "We decided that what we were going to do is block (Manor) and make her make her own errors. We were going to serve to her."

It was the collective errors that cost Musselman in the second game as the Applemen had only one kill per error in that game. In contrast, the kill-error ratio in the three winning games was more than 3-to-1.

"We're still a work in progress. We're ranked No. 1 but we have a lot of work to do," Martz said. "We would have liked to go for the sweep, but a competitive match -- even if it was only one game -- is good for us."

Kayla Johns was the table setter with 43 assists for the Applemen, who are 22-1 in matches including pool play.

Iesha Robinson had 12 kills and Yolanda Pincett added 10 to lead Martinsburg. Jessica Burkhart had seven kills to go with 32 assists.

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