2011 All-County Volleyball: Crawford led North to 3A title

December 09, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |

When it comes to Washington County volleyball, it’s hard to accomplish something that’s never been done before.

After all, county public schools have won 24 state championships since 1978 — and that’s not including the accomplishments of Heritage Academy and Broadfording in recent years on the state and national christian school level.

However, North Hagerstown managed to make history no other county program has when the Hubs brought the county’s first Maryland Class 3A state championship back to Hagerstown.

North coach Megan Crawford is The Herald-Mail’s 2011 Washington County Volleyball Coach of the Year.

“Obviously it makes my job a lot easier when we have the athletes, and I have a really good assistant (Katie Eck),” Crawford said. “It’s a lot easier when you have all those other elements. It’s a great group of girls, and obviously I’m going to miss the five seniors. ... Those five seniors are special.”

Those five seniors anchored North (17-2) in every area — on the front row (Autumn Fisher and Iman Scott), setting (Brynne Kirsch) and defensively (Mollie Johnson and Erika Lawrence, with plenty of help from Fisher and Kirsch).

“Erika came on strong playing back row once she got her chance,” Crawford said. “Iman we knew was athletic, and she follows directions and picks up on things very quickly. That made a huge impact on our team once she got her timing down swinging. Autumn playing all the way around was a big thing. We relied on her and she was one of our best passers. Brynne got it. We left (running the offense) up to her and she ran with it, and that meant a lot to her to be able to take control like that. ... We planned on having Mollie outside, but we needed her in the back.”

North finished second to Williamsport in the MVAL Antietam — the league title was decided by a thrilling five-set match between the two teams — but the Hubs got on a roll after the loss to the Wildcats, winning their final 13 matches.

The momentum really started building after North beat West Virginia powerhouse Musselman for the Hedgesville Tournament title. Then the Hubs beat highly touted programs Thomas Johnson, Damascus, Towson and River Hill in the playoffs to claim the Class 3A state title.

“It’s obviously been a great year,” Crawford said. “My son was born. Having my girls back on the team, they’ve been through a lot with me. This is just a really special group to me and we’ve been through a lot all four years. I wanted this and they wanted this. Putting it all together means a lot.”

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