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Leopards' Rishell takes over

October 03, 2008|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG -- Smithsburg sophomore Sara Rishell dominated the action at the net Thursday night, recording 10 kills and five blocks as the Leopards swept visiting North Hagerstown 25-17, 25-19, 25-20 in a Washington County prep volleyball match.

"We really took it to them," Rishell said. "We accomplished our goal of avenging our loss to them last year. The passes were where they were needed to be. The sets were where they were needed to be and the kills were executed from the whole team."

She also extended the credit to the defense.

"The people in the back row had good digs," Rishell said. "The people in the front row had good blocks. We just did a good all-around job on defense tonight. We really worked as a team tonight. Everyone did what they had to do and got the job done."

"Tonight was definitely a team effort," said Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear, whose team improved to 6-2. "Taylor Belella distributed the ball and got everyone involved. This group of girls is very team-oriented. They are unselfish and they will do what is best for the team."

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Belella, a sophomore setter, had 29 assists and 10 service points, while Valerie Smith tallied nine service points for the Leopards. Nikki Siefert had 10 kills, Katie Sprecher added nine kills and Mollie Kieffer had seven digs for Smithsburg.

Megan Plume finished with 10 assists for North (5-3), while Maria Burgan had five kills and Akilah McCall had four kills and Courtney Bowlus chipped in with three aces for the Hubs.

"We didn't get a block up," North coach Megan Crawford said. "Smithsburg ran a nice offense. They had some big hitters and they put the ball down on us. We would go on a run and we would let them back in. You can't do that against a good team."

The Hubs built an 8-3 lead in the first game before the Leopards made a comeback. Kieffer served five straight points to put Smithsburg in front 19-16. After both teams got a point on a sideout, Smith got five straight service points and Sprecher recorded a game-ending kill to seal the win for the Leopards.

The second game was tight the whole time as Smithsburg only led 22-19 before Meghan McSherry got three service points in a row and Rishell got a game-ending block to win the game.

Belella served six consecutive points to give Smithsburg a 7-0 lead early in the third game. The Leopards' lead grew to 20-10 before the Hubs chopped it to 24-20. Smithsburg got the match point on a sideout to complete the sweep.

JV: North, 2-1.

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