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8 straight for Blazers

October 09, 2008|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG -- The Clear Spring volleyball team is on a roll.

The Blazers won their eighth straight match with a 23-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-19 MVAL Antietam decision over Smithsburg on Wednesday. Clear Spring is undefeated since its season-opening loss to South Hagerstown.

"I am absolutely thrilled with the progress that we are making," Clear Spring coach Kim Malphurs said. "We have a lot of individual talent and we do a good job of putting it together into team skills which wins games."

Emily Pinkham led with 16 service points, 14 kills, seven service aces and four blocks for Clear Spring (8-1, 2-0). Pinkham, a 6-foot senior middle hitter, has verbally committed to play at Stevenson University in Baltimore, a Division III school, next season.

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"Smithsburg has good middles that can block," Pinkham said. "So whenever we hit the ball, we hit off their blockers. I think we communicated, which is really important. Our back row players come up and cover our hitters. If they block on us, then we have our back row just pop the ball right back up. It just keeps the play going."

Outside hitter Amanda Jenkins chipped in with 15 kills, 11 service points and 10 digs for the Blazers.

"It is good to beat a good team and have a good competitive match," Jenkins said. "It feels amazing. My serving wasn't as consistent as what I would like for it to have been. But if I needed a point, I got it."

Kate Blickenstaff added 19 assists and 13 digs, while Megan Micco came up with 23 assists and 10 digs for Clear Spring. Lindsay Lacy added 18 digs and eight kills, while Lily Pinkham had nine service points, five kills and three blocks for the Blazers.

Taylor Belella led Smithsburg (6-3, 1-1) with 21 assists, while Mollie Kieffer had 14 digs and nine service points and Sara Rishell had 13 kills and five blocks.

"We gave Clear Spring a lot of free balls and down balls," Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear said. "We were constantly on defense, because we couldn't get our offense going. I didn't think we were passing terribly, but we just didn't put the ball where it needed to be."

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