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'Cats no match for Blue Devils

September 28, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
  • Williamsport libero Trisha Leigh makes a return of a Greencastle serve Monday night. Greencastle swept the Wildcats on their home court in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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WILLIAMSPORT -- The Greencastle-Antrim volleyball team came to Williamsport on Monday looking for something that normally wouldn't be a priority.

Adversity.

"We were looking forward to this match," said Greencastle coach Corry Eagler. "We were hoping to come here and get out of the rut of three-game matches. It's good, but it's not good to get ready for tougher competition."

The Wildcats were willing but unable to oblige as the Blue Devils dominated the net to roll to a 25-12, 25-20, 25-13 victory in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Greencastle (6-0) entered the match as winners in all 27 games it has played this season. After Monday, the Blue Devils moved to 30-for-30 and probably got no tougher in the process.

"We would have loved to put them to four games," said Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree. "We couldn't get into a rhythm for some reason. They are the toughest team we have faced ..."

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At least until tonight. The Wildcats (5-1) meet up with defending Maryland Class 1A state champions and county rival Smithsburg.

Williamsport will need to pull things together a little tighter against the Leopards as compared to the Blue Devils.

Greencastle dominated in the front row as crisp sets on the ribbon of the net allowed for multiple kills. Williamsport was on its heels for the entire night.

"We thought they were going to be tougher for us," said Greencastle's Nikita Gearhart, who finished with six kills, four aces and three blocks. "Everything was working well. It all starts with good passes and sets and I get the chance to finish it off."

Williamsport had very few offensive runs to stay in the match. The Wildcats managed just six assists -- three each by Paige Kitchen and Summer Neff -- and six kills -- two each by Stacey Christie, Sam Kelly and Madison DePew. Williamsport spent most of the night on the defensive, proven by 11 digs by Trisha Leigh while Katie Seese added 10 more.

"Our blocking was non-existent," Crabtree said. "They mix up their sets and slide around. We weren't on out toes tonight."

In each game, Williamsport hung around until Greencastle put up a decisive run to take control, using the combination of tough serves, tough-angled kills and blocking defense at the net.

Greencastle steadily pulled away in the opening game after breaking a 3-3 tie. Erin Garns served six straight points, keyed by a Chloe Hoover kill and a Gearhart block, to move the Blue Devils to a 16-7 lead.

They settled for trading points the rest of the way until Lauren Verhoef capped the win with a game-ending ace.

Garns opened the second game with a five-point run but Kitchen served the Wildcats into a 9-9 tie. It ended when Sami Rudy served six straight points, with the help of a kill and a push shot by Verhoef, to take a 15-9 lead that Williamsport couldn't overcome.

The two teams battled through four ties in the third game before Greencastle asserted itself. The Blue Devils broke a 7-all deadlock and put the game away seven-point run by Gearhart, including three aces, to knock the Wildcats out.

Rudy finished with nine kills and Verhoef added seven with a hand from Garns, who finished with 29 of Greencastle's 30 assists.

Greencastle didn't get the match it had hoped for, but it did get something else in its place.

"Since I have been coaching, we have never beat Williamsport in their gym," Eagler said. "This is a great win for us over them."

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