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Leopards control Huskies

October 31, 2008|By JACK HILL III

SMITHSBURG -- Smithsburg was in control throughout a 25-10, 25-11, 25-18 sweep of Northern Garrett on Thursday night in the first round of the Maryland Class 1A West volleyball playoffs.

Smithsburg (10-5) advances to the quarterfinals to play at No. 3-seed Clear Spring on Monday night at 7.

"We didn't know what Northern Garrett was going to bring tonight," Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear said. "I told my girls that we couldn't control what goes on in the other side of the court, but we could control what goes on in our side of the court. We can control how we play. We can also control our momentum and our enthusiasm."

Senior Nikki Siefert, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, played good at both the net and the service line for the Leopards. She had eight kills and nine service points, and her final kill finished off Northern Garrett (2-14).

"We have been working on passing and serve receive a lot," Siefert said. "We live and die by serve receive. We started off strong. We kept our momentum up throughout the whole match. We had a lot of good swings at the net. Our team pretty much controlled the play at the net all night."

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"We just need to talk on the court a little bit more as we go on through the tournament," Siefert said. "We hope to bring tonight's momentum into the next match."

Colleen Black had 12 service points and eight kills, while Mollie Kieffer had 12 service points and five digs for the Leopards. Sara Rishell added 12 kills, while Taylor Belella had 15 assists and seven digs.

"The girls came in this year with the attitude that they have something to prove and that they want to be the best that they can be," Brashear said. "I hope that pays off for us in the future. I feel that we have the potential to play even better, if we continue to work hard."

Northern Garrett coach Amanda France was very impressed with Smithsburg.

"Smithsburg is very flexible in everything that they do," France said. "The depth of the team is very intense. Smithsburg is a good team and we haven't seen a team like that this entire season."

The Huskies gave the Leopards a little bit of a battle in the third game as they held a 7-6 lead. Smithsburg tied the score on a sideout and got four straight service points by Valerie Smith to take the lead for good at 11-7.

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