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Rebels live for now with title

October 28, 2008|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

If South Hagerstown volleyball coach Chuck Weaver had one wish, it might be for the Rebels to embrace prosperity.

After Monday night, Weaver might have a few more wrinkles. South secured it's seventh straight win and clinched the MVAL Piedmont title with a 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 20-25, 19-17 thriller with Middletown.

After sprinting to a 9-2 lead in the fifth game, South (9-4, 3-0) watched the Knights reel off 13 of the next 18 points for a 15-14 lead. But the Rebels finally prevailed on a Rebecca Pearl kill.

"It was two evenly matched teams," said Middletown coach Jamie Pryor. "It was a matter of which way the ball falls. But that was a good shot for the last point."

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So, while the Rebels won, they did it the hard way. In the first two games, South watched leads of four and six points shrink to one before pulling away for the win.

"Middletown never lays down," said Weaver. "(We) were doing just what we needed to do (to win). Nothing more."

This is our seventh win in a row, but I wouldn't call it overconfidence," Weaver said. "We just did what we needed to do."

Even with an opportunity to end things early in the third game, South barely got out of the blocks. The Knights (7-7, 2-2) went on a 13-3 run to breeze to the win. In the first three games, South committed 45 unforced errors.

Middletown's Mattie Smith sparked a four-point run with three kills and a block to reverse a 6-2 Rebels advantage and propel the Knights to the win.

In an effort to assess the Rebels level of intensity, Weaver said, "During the first three games, on a scale of one to 10, it was probably about a five. The last half of Game 4 was an eight or nine, and the fifth game was definitely high. That was a 10."

Pearl led South with 15 kills, while Morgan McCoy chipped in 10 and Kara Henson eight. Kali McCarty's 12 kills sparked Middletown, while Smith contributed nine.

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