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Panthers advance to 1A West quarterfinals

November 01, 2008|By JACK HILL III

The Hancock volleyball team was treated to a playoff victory on Halloween.

The Panthers defeated Allegany 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 25-17 in the Maryland Class 1A West first round Friday night.

Hancock (3-13) will play at top-seeded Poolesville in the region quarterfinals on Monday at 6 p.m.

Allegany completed its season with a 3-12 record.

"I'm very proud of our team," Hancock coach Tera Swisher said. "We kept our heads up. We worked as a team. We talked to each other and we communicated well. We work on serving every day, and we got some crucial service points when we needed them.

"Our girls have worked hard all year. When our girls fall behind, we just hang in there and come back. We don't give up."

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Hannah Creek and Shawnda Wills each had eight service points for Hancock. Creek also had 10 assists and eight digs, while Wills had seven digs and five kills. Briana Swisher had 11 kills, Kelsie Clark added eight assists and Hayley Ruppenthal had seven digs for the Panthers.

"Both teams played hard," Allegany coach Lacey Smith said. "Hancock has got a good defensive team. It was a good competitive match."

Kelly Baker had nine service points and five kills for Allegany. Jenna Mathews had eight service points and Rebekah Wormack had four kills for the Campers.

In the first game, Allegany held a 10-6 lead before Hancock began its comeback. The Panthers trailed 16-14 when Creek put together a string of five service points to put Hancock in front 19-16. Wills eventually got a game-ending kill for the Panthers.

In the second game, the Campers held a 14-9 advantage before the Panthers started another rally. Creek got three service points in a row to give Hancock a 23-20 lead. After each team got a point on a sideout, Ruppenthal served a game-winning ace for the Panthers.

In the fourth game, Kaitlyn Sterner snapped a 4-4 tie with three straight service points to give Hancock the lead for good at 7-4. Sierra Fink eventually got a match-ending ace for the Panthers.

Allegany got its only win in the third game. Hayley Stankan served five consecutive points to increase the Campers' advantage to 19-7.

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