Hubs advance to state final

November 17, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |
  • North Hagerstown's Iman Scott celebrates the Hubs' Game 3 victory over Towson on Thursday night. North prevailed 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-16 to advance to Saturday's Maryland Class 3A state final.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — North Hagerstown is back in the Maryland state volleyball finals for the first time since 2007, defeating defending state champion Towson 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-16 in the Class 3A semifinals on Thursday at Ritchie Coliseum.

The Hubs (16-2) — who have never won a state championship in four previous finals appearances — will face River Hill (16-1) for the championship Saturday night at 7:30.

“I’ve wanted (a state title) so badly since my freshman year,” said senior Autumn Fisher, who finished with 22 kills to lead all players Thursday. “Knowing we’re here and we have a chance, it’s a tremendous opportunity.”

Peyton Wallech had 16 kills and seven blocks, and Iman Scott added 13 kills and four blocks as North (16-2) proved to be the superior team at the net. The Hubs finished with 54 kills and 10 blocks, while Towson (18-2) had 39 kills and just one block.

“Once we start passing, we’re able to run a good offense, and Brynne (Kirsch, who had 43 assists) did a good job spreading it out tonight,” North coach Megan Crawford said. “We didn’t know much about Towson. We knew they were a strong team, but our girls came ready to play. Once they got the jitters out, they played strong.”

North overcame 11 errors in Game 1 with 14 kills and four blocks — and a little help from Towson, which made four errors late as the Hubs rallied from 20-16 down with a 9-3 run. Fisher had five kills and Wallech and Scott each had four in the game.

The Hubs couldn’t overcome 12 errors in Game 2, as Towson took control with a 5-0 run for an 18-12 lead and reamined out in front from there.

Game 3 proved pivotal. North raced out to an 8-2 lead but Towson battled back, tying the game at 15 with a 5-0 run. Tied at 23, Wallech gave the Hubs the game with kills on the final two points -- Wallech and Fisher each had seven kills in the game.

North took control of Game 4 with a 7-1 run for a 17-11 lead and finished off Towson in style. Fisher had six kills and Scott added five, and the Hubs had 14 kills and four aces while Towson had just six kills and one ace.

“We capitalized on all their errors and took advantage of their free balls,” Fisher said. “That’s how we’ve been taught to play.”

North also had more digs (72) than Towson (62), with four players in double figures: Kirsch (13), Fisher (12), Erika Lawrence (12) and Mollie Johnson (12).

Lauren Bosse had 14 kills, Kelly Lacy had 10 kills and 16 digs, Hannah Wohltmann had nine kills and 14 digs, Ally Teuten had 33 assists and Emily Lansinger added 11 digs for Towson.

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