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Kelly's wake-up call alarms North

September 26, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — North Hagerstown junior Peyton Wallech may want one kill back from Monday’s MVAL Antietam volleyball showdown against Williamsport — the one that fired up Wildcats senior Sam Kelly.

“Peyton drilled me in the face (in Game 3), but that’s OK,” Kelly said. “That’s what woke me up.”

And just in time for the Wildcats.

With Williamsport trailing 2-1 and 23-20 in Game 4, Kelly erupted for 10 kills and a block in the final 37 points of the match, rallying the Wildcats past the Hubs in five games, 19-25, 25-14, 22-25, 27-25, 15-13.

Kelly had three kills in a 4-0 run that put Williamsport (6-0, 4-0) ahead 24-23 in Game 4. Two Wildcats hitting errors gave North (4-1, 2-1) a match point, but Kelly erased that with another kill, and after a Hubs hitting error gave the Wildcats game point, Kelly’s block forced Game 5.

“They were definitely relying on me, and I had to do it for them,” Kelly said. “This is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on. They were counting on me and I couldn’t let them down.”

Kelly had six more kills and Stacey Christy added five in the Game 5 race to 15. Williamsport took a 5-1 lead behind three Christy kills before North’s five-point run gave the Hubs a 6-5 lead. The Wildcats clawed ahead 12-9 before North pulled into a 12-12 tie with a three-point run highlighted by a superb second-touch tip by Brynne Kirsch.

But Ariah Giles had a kill and an ace to give Williamsport a 14-12 lead, and after a North timeout and Alex Mandeville’s kill, Christy ended the match with a kill off the Hubs’ block and out of play, leaving the Wildcats as the conference’s only unbeaten team.

“I’m exhausted. I can’t think right now. Incredible,” Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. “I can’t say enough about Sam. She’s been sick to the point she couldn’t breathe in the fifth game, but I just kept telling her to dig deep. It was working, they couldn’t stop her.

“I said to them, ‘You have worked way too hard tonight to let this slip away.’ It was 14-12, and I just said, ‘You need one more point.’”

Christy led Williamsport with 18 kills and four blocks, while Kelly finished with 16 kills after getting just one in the first two games. Summer Neff and Emily Taylor each had 26 assists. Kelly led the defense with 20 digs, while Brooklyn Welch had 19, Christy 14 and Courtney Malott 10.

Wallech, Autumn Fisher and Iman Scott each had 13 kills and Wallech added four blocks for North, with Kirsch finishing with 45 assists. Scott stood out with three kills in the Game 1 win and five kills in the Game 3 win as the Hubs’ third option.

“She played the best match she’s played all year. She had intensity tonight and she put the ball down,” North coach Megan Crawford said. “I’m pleased she gave us another threat, but everyone else still needs to be on. ... We were tipping a lot, and they caught onto it after how many times we did it tonight, and they were swinging and pounded the ball down on us.”

Mollie Johnson led North with 19 digs and Erika Lawrence had 14.

JV: Williamsport, 2-1.

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