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Hubs prove too powerful for Patriots

By DAN KAUFFMAN

November 09, 2011|kauffman@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. — North Hagerstown’s three-pronged attack was simply too much for Thomas Johnson to handle in the Maryland Class 3A West volleyball semifinals Wednesday night at TJ.

Peyton Wallech finished with 17 kills — unleashing several ferocious blasts — while Iman Scott and Autumn Fisher each added nine kills and Brynne Kirsch directed it all with 35 assists as the third-seeded Hubs advanced to the regional final with an impressive 25-17, 25-19, 25-20 sweep of the second-seeded Patriots.

“(Our offense) just brings everybody up, everybody on the floor and everybody on the bench,” Wallech said. “We really have a focus. ... The confidence is high. We don’t want to be cocky, we know it will be tough to get through our next match, but we have the talent to do it.”

North (14-2) will either travel to top-seeded Damascus or host fifth-seeded Watkins Mill on Friday or Saturday in the regional final. The Hubs last won a region title in 2007, when they reached the state championship match.

“Passing is the key,” North coach Megan Crawford said. “If we pass well, we can run our offense and we’ll be OK.”

Scott was the spark plug for the Hubs in Game 1 with five kills, while Wallech added four kills. A 6-0 run gave North an 8-2 lead, and after Thomas Johnson (13-3) used a 5-1 run to pull within 13-12, the Hubs responded with a 7-1 run to take control. North had 14 kills in the game while the Patriots had nine.

“Iman was really on early, and everyone followed,” Crawford said.

Wallech was at her best in Game 2, which she finished with seven kills. Wallech and Fisher each had three, and North pulled away with a 6-0 run for a 20-12 lead. The Hubs had 16 kills to Thomas Johnson’s nine in the game.

“We had to come out and be strong,” Wallech said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our defense was moving its feet and our offense was really on tonight.”

“(Peyton) got blocked the first two points of the match and realized she needed to watch the block, and once she did, she started finding the holes,” Crawford said. “We’ve been working on that, and once she starts thinking about it, she does it.”

The Patriots got their offense going in Game 3 — finishing with 16 kills to North’s 11 — but 13 errors doomed Thomas Johnson, while the Hubs kept it clean with just two errors. Wallech had five kills and Fisher added four in the game, and North broke a 10-10 tie with an 11-5 run.

“We kept the momentum going tonight,” Crawford said.

Mollie Johnson led the defense with 10 digs, while Kirsch had nine and Fisher added eight for North.

Stacie Lynch had 30 assists for Thomas Johnson. Charlotte Sabatano had 10 kills and Rebecca Pryor added nine kills.

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