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Rebels' run ends in final

November 14, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

DAMASCUS, Md. -- It was almost as if the No. 3 on the back of Samantha Edwards stood for the number of games it was going to take Damascus to dispose of South Hagerstown in Friday night's Maryland Class 3A West volleyball final.

If not for the Hornets senior, the 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 sweep of the Rebels would have been very unlikely.

"She's a stud, there's no doubt about it," said South coach Chuck Weaver of the 6-foot-1 outside hitter, who finished with 18 kills. "There were times when she was in the back (row) and we still couldn't take advantage, she was all over."

It was unclear what was more potent -- Edwards' attack or her serve. She set the tone in Game 1 with three kills to stake Damascus to a 6-3 lead, then stepped to the back line and served 10 straight points -- seven that went unreturned -- for a 16-3 advantage.

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Edwards added only two more kills in the Game 1, but the lead was plenty for the Hornets (14-3) to withstand 11 errors.

"We have been consistent pretty much all week, but in tonight's game we struggled," Weaver said. "We just weren't in it at all. I don't know if it was that we played three games this week, or if it was the long bus ride. Either way, we just didn't have it."

The Rebels (9-8) seemed to gather themselves at the start of the second game as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead. Then Edwards showed up with back-to-back kills and Damascus scored 17 of the next 23 points to take control.

"Our team has been streaky all year," said Damascus coach Carl Merry. "But when we're serving well we can do a good job of keeping teams off balance and if we're passing well we can get our attack going. At times, we showed signs of doing both of those things well."

One of those times was the start of Game 3, when a pair of unreturned serves by Natalie Bonturi and two more kills by Edwards helped the Hornets take a 6-1 lead.

South battled back to tie the game three times -- the last time at 12-12 -- but never pushed ahead. Finally, Damascus regained composure and scored 13 of the last 18 points to clinch the win.

The Hornets scored the last six points of the game, the last an untouched ace by Chrissy Hobbs on a jump serve to underscore the win.

"Receiving was the problem all night," Weaver said. "Our game is on the attack, and when we don't receive the ball, we can't attack."

Rebecca Pearl led the Rebels with nine kills and four blocks, Megan Vance had 19 assists and Morgan McCoy had five kills.

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