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Hubs make use of runs, hits, errors

November 10, 2009|By TRAVIS KING/Staff Correspondent

It took North Hagerstown five games to defeat Winters Mill on Sept. 10.

The venue was different Monday night, but the result was the same. And even though history repeated itself, North volleyball coach Megan Crawford still wasn't satisfied.

"I feel lucky we came out with the win," Crawford said. "(Winters Mill) improved as the match went on and we stayed steady until the fifth game."

The Hubs staved off a Winters Mill comeback and took advantage of numerous errors by the Falcons in a 25-15, 27-25, 23-25, 18-25, 15-9 win in the quarterfinals of the Md. Class 2A West playoffs.

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Winters Mill committed 50 errors, including a combined 24 errors in the first two games. The Hubs wasted no time capitalizing to pull ahead 2-0.

"Our mistakes cost us the match," said Winters Mill coach Michelle Crouse. "We missed three serves in a 15-point game, and obviously, that didn't help. We can't do that."

Akilah McCall led North (11-4) with 15 kills, while Megan Plume recorded a team-high 41 assists, but the roles changed for the final point. McCall's only assist of the game led to Plume's spike which fell untouched and clinched the win for the Hubs.

Plume tallied 10 of her assists in the first game, where North pulled off streaks of six and five points to run away early. Anna Wade had four of her seven kills in the opening game.

The Falcons pulled ahead momentarily 24-23 late in the second game before the Hubs won four of the next five points and, after Bailey Mandeville's ace, took a 2-0 lead.

"We hung around in the first two games," said Crouse. "Our pass-serve-hit worked and we needed to swing the momentum our way. They're a great team, but we let them get runs and didn't answer back."

Winters Mill wouldn't go away so easily, however. North needed six straight points to tie the Falcons at 21 in the third game, but Winters Mill quickly went back ahead to take the game and avoid the sweep.

The Falcons also overwhelmed the Hubs in Game Four. Winters Mill scored 14 of the last 18 points, including a finishing 6-0 run -- where Ashton Broadrick had two aces -- to force the deciding fifth game.

The final game was never in doubt. Even after falling behind 4-1, the Hubs took the next five points to pull ahead for good. North forced eight Winters Mill errors in the game.

"We didn't serve-receive well (in the third and fourth games)," Crawford said. "You could tell they served us off the court. Once we started passing, we got our confidence back and put it down when we needed it."

Autumn Fisher had 10 kills and three blocks, while Sam Roberts had 16 digs, Bailey Mandeville added 13 digs and Peyton Wallach had six blocks for the Hubs, who will travel to play Francis Scott Key in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Jessica Gieselman recorded 19 kills and 24 assists and Rachel Bollinger had 17 kills and a pair of aces for Winters Mill.

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