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Prep Volleyball: Hubs prevail in clash of titans

October 16, 2012|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG — In a clash between two defending Maryland state volleyball champions, North Hagerstown further tightened its grip on the MVAL Antietam title Tuesday night.

Peyton Wallech had 17 kills, three blocks and 11 digs, and the Hubs remained the only undefeated team in Antietam play with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-21 sweep of the Leopards on Block Out Breast Cancer Night at Smithsburg.

North (9-1, 5-0), the defending Class 3A champion, has won nine straight matches since a season-opening five-set loss to Francis Scott Key. The Hubs have Antietam matches left against Clear Spring (5-7, 2-4) and South Hagerstown (1-9, 0-5).

“Each day, we’re getting a little better and feeling more comfortable with each other,” Hubs coach Megan Crawford said. “Our sophomores aren’t playing like sophomores anymore, and the confidence they’ve gained has really helped them.”

Smithsburg (10-3, 4-2), the three-time defending Class 1A champion, has lost two straight, having dropped a 3-1 decision to Winters Mill on Thursday.

“We just didn’t have it tonight. No excuses,” Leopards coach Rachel Brashear said. “With a young team, you play up and down, and you can’t play the way we did tonight against North and win. We made a lot of unforced errors.”

The Hubs’ two middle attackers — Wallech, a senior, and Zoe Schreiber, a sophomore who had nine kills and two blocks — controlled the net against the Leopards, who managed just one block in the match.

“We’ve been working on moving the (opponent’s) block around, and we’re starting to establish that,” said Wallech.

“We’re very young, and blocking is something we’ve been working on because we know we’ll need it in the playoffs,” Brashear said. “Tonight is a learning experience, and hopefully we’ll learn from it.”

Wallech had six kills and two blocks, and Schreiber added five kills and a block in Set 1 for the Hubs, who used an 8-0 run to open up a 20-11 lead. Schreiber had three kills and a block in the run.

North took control of Set 2 with a 9-1 run for a 23-15 lead. Wallech had six kills in the set, and the Hubs finished with 14 kills and five aces in the set, compared to six kills and three aces for Smithsburg.

Set 3 was in doubt a little longer. The Leopards led 13-12 before North used a 7-1 run to take a 19-14 lead. Smithsburg won the next three points to close within two, but the Leopards ultimately could not overcome 16 errors in the set — part of 29 errors in the match.

Sarah Bentley had 26 assists and Lexi McCarthy and Christine Randall each finished with seven digs for the Hubs.

Amanda Snowden had 13 kills, Haley Caudell had six kills and three aces, and Payton Belella finished with 17 assists for the Leopards.

* Smithsburg athletic director Teresa Bachtell estimated at least $4,000 dollars was raised for Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley on Tuesday. More than 500 shirts were sold for the event, and more money was raised through bake sales and raffles. Donations also were accepted.

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