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Washington crosses Potomac to top Saints

September 30, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN
  • Saint James' Carrie Spicher (11) stretches to try and force the ball through the block of Washington's Beata Lienhard.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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    SAINT JAMES -- Once Washington's volleyball team got its attack straightened out late in Game 1 of Wednesday's match at Saint James, the Patriots were a little too much for the Saints.

    Nikki Ashbaugh was the best player on the floor, finishing with 28 assists and six aces, and Washington found another gear for a 24-26, 25-23, 25-15, 25-15 victory.

    "She every single match gives 100 percent. I never have to question her work ethic," Patriots coach Ian Hillman said. "Even when our passes aren't on the mark, she gets to the ball and sets up her teammates."

    Washington (2-8) struggled at the start, as Saint James (2-5) took a 23-16 lead by playing cleaner than the Patriots, who made 12 of their 13 errors in the game in those first 39 points.

    Beata Lienhard led the Patriots back with four kills and two blocks in an 8-0 run that gave Washington game point at 24-23. But Taylor Deveaux put down a kill for the Saints, and after a hitting error by the Patriots gave Saint James game point, Jordan Wills ended it with a block.

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"We're proud of the girls, they're trying their hardest," Saints coach Rachel Grantham said. "They're still trying to jell. ... Taylor is our spark plug. She's our little light switch. They show heart, they have a lot of heart."

But Saint James' heart started giving way to Washington's attacking talent as the Patriots built a 24-18 lead in Game 2. The Saints rallied with a five-point run -- Deveaux ignited it again with two kills and a block -- but Alycia Lambert's kill on Washington's sixth game point tied the match at a game apiece.

From there, the Patriots outclassed the Saints. In the final two games, Washington had 17 kills, 11 aces and four blocks, compared to nine kills, five aces and zero blocks for Saint James.

"Game 4 was definitely our best all match," Hillman said. "I'm happy they got better as they went on instead of the other way around."

Washington finished the match with 36 kills, 15 aces, eight blocks and 42 errors. Lienhard had 14 kills and five blocks, Lambert had six kills and two aces, Krysta Mayville had four kills and three aces, Kelsey Lineburg had five kills, Mandy Miller had three aces and Amber Curry added 11 digs.

Saint James had 20 kills, 12 aces, five blocks and 41 errors in the match. Wills had eight kills, two blocks and 17 digs, Deveaux had seven kills, two blocks and two aces, Myers Rhoad had eight assists, two aces and two kills, Carrie Spicher had six assists, Ashley Tolton and Kyle Gross had three aces each, Taylor Goode had 12 digs and Tolton added 11 digs.

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