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New year, same streak for Leopards

September 06, 2011|By CURT HORNBECKER | Staff Correspondent
  • Smithsburg's Danielle Harbaugh (7) reacts after a successful kill in the second game of the Leopards' sweep of Boonsboro on Tuesday.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — There was little razzle and dazzle, but Smithsburg’s two-time defending Maryland Class 1A state volleyball champs didn’t really need it.

The Leopards extended their win streak to 39 straight matches Tuesday night with a workman-like 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 sweep of Boonsboro in an MVAL Antietam matchup that also was the season opener for both teams.

Returning starter Danielle Harbaugh provided the spark for the Smithsburg offense with 22 kills for the match, including 10 in Game 1. But when Harbaugh rotated away from the net, the Leopards sputtered.

“We have some players who have the ability to complement (Harbaugh),” said Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear. “I look for them to make an impact (as the season progresses).”

Meanwhile, the Warriors seemed unable to gather much momentum, staying within reach of the lead in each game before finally watching each opportunity slip away. After the Leopards opened a 10-2 lead in Game 1, Boonsboro closed the gap to three but fell down the stretch; in the second game, the Warriors trailed by just three at 20-17; and in Game 3, Boonsboro squandered a 19-17 lead with five errors down the stretch that allowed the Leopards to go on a 9-2 run for the win.

“We have some work to do,” said Warriors coach Andrea Parry. “We beat ourselves tonight. We need to make a few adjustments on defense”

Despite remaining within striking distance, Boonsboro lacked a consistent offensive threat, as Andrea Pettyjohn led the team with just four kills, while Taylor Williams finished with three blocks.

“We just couldn’t get our offense going,” said Warriors coach Andrea Parry. “I’m not sure what it was, but something just wasn’t there.”

Heather Caudill contributed 15 service points for the Leopards.

“We have a lot of new faces this year,” added Brashear. “They lack (varsity) game experience, but they know how to win.”

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