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Hawks keep region title on HCC mantel

November 01, 2009|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College volleyball team accomplished something it is getting quite used to by doing things out of the ordinary.

HCC went undefeated for the weekend and won its seventh straight Region XX Tournament title on Sunday at the school's athletic complex. Yet, the Hawks were pushed to a five-game shootout by the College of Southern Maryland, which forced them to find a new way to gain success.

"My team played very good defense today in picking up balls that we are not accustomed to getting," said HCC coach Beth Domenico of the 27-25, 25-18, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10 victory. "I think those were the plays that got our momentum going. College of Southern Maryland really played well today. We are just happy to walk away with the win."

Now tested and pushed to the limit, HCC won the region's berth to the NJCAA national tournament on Nov. 19-21 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. The Hawks (31-7) not only defended their region title, but also kept their No. 10 national ranking intact.

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For the second straight year, outside hitter Rebecca Morgan was voted the tournament MVP after coming through with 24 kills, 18 service points and eight digs in the championship match. Julia Becker, Hailee Growden and Ashlyn Rebok represented HCC on the all-tournament team.

"That was one of our goals for this year: To repeat as champions," Morgan said. "It's definitely exciting. I couldn't have gotten all of those kills without the passers and the setters. Playing with this team was the highlight of my career at HCC. The way that we get along, the way that we encourage each other and the way that we push each other is all beneficial."

Becker had 20 kills and nine digs, while Growden ended with 16 digs. Rebok collected 22 assists, 15 service points, eight digs and five blocks. Sara Michael contributed 25 assists and 10 service points, while Emma Dalton added six kills and five blocks for HCC.

HCC jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Morgan snapped a 15-15 tie with six straight service points to win the second game. But Southern Maryland battled back to win the third and fourth games to force the pressure-packed finale for the tournament title.

HCC broke open a 12-10 advantage against Southern Maryland (33-8) in the deciding game. Morgan served the final three points to close out the match.

On the final play, Michael played the final point into the open floor instead of putting up a set for a deciding kill to clinch the title.

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