Prep volleyball: Leopards' home winning streak snapped

September 11, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — The Williamsport Wildcats ended the 33-match homecourt winning streak of the Smithsburg Leopards with a 25-19, 25-14, 25-23 sweep Tuesday night in the MVAL Antietam.

Smithsburg’s last loss on its home floor was Oct. 10, 2008, when the Leopards were swept by Thomas Johnson.

“It feels really good to come into their gym and win in three games against a very well-coached team,” Williamsport coach Emily Crabtree said. “We are motivated by many things this year. Any time you can defeat a three-time defending state champion and break a four-year homecourt winning streak, you must have something.”

“You have got to hand it to Williamsport,” Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear said. “They played a great match tonight. The bottom line is that they outscrapped us. Their experience seemed to be the difference tonight. I think we looked solid at times tonight, but we just couldn’t keep the momentum.”

Senior outside hitter Haley Wolff celebrated her 17th birthday in style with a game-high 11 service points and five kills for Williamsport (3-0, 2-0).

“It was all mental,” Wolff said. “I got back there and I just thought about it. I just tried to spot serve. I figured out where the best place would be where I would get a service point.”

Wolff feels the Wildcats are doing what they need to do to be successful.

“I’m just so proud of how the team played,” Wolff said. “Having Sam Kelly as a motivation has really helped us raise our level of play. We have great potential. We have been working real hard to improve it from Day 1. If we just keep up the good work, then we can be successful.”

Kelly, a two-time Herald-Mail All-County First Team outside hitter for the Wildcats, was killed in an auto accident in May, one month before she was to graduate.

Emily Taylor had 28 assists and eight service points, and Stacey Christy added 13 kills and two blocks for the Wildcats. Courtney Malott had nine service points and eight kills, while Lindsey Mowbray also had eight kills.

Payton Belella had 15 assists and Marissa Dangler added 14 digs for Smithsburg (2-1, 1-1). Amanda Snowden had nine digs and eight kills.

In the first set, Wolff served five straight points to give Williamsport a 9-5 lead. Smithsburg evened the score at 13, but the Wildcats outscored the Leopards 12-6 from there.

In the second set, Malott’s string of five service points increased Williamsport’s advantage to 23-13. Wolff ended the set with a kill.

In the third set, Smithsburg led 19-16, but after Williamsport got a point on a sideout, Christy served six straight points to put the Wildcats on top 23-19. The Leopards chopped the lead down to 24-23 before Williamsport sealed the match.

JV: Williamsport, 2-0.

Note: The Smithsburg volleyball players raised money for the Kelly family, while Williamsport made a donation to Sydney Davis, a Smithsburg Middle School eighth-grade volleyball player who is battling leukemia.

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