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Prep Volleyball: Blazers advance with sweep

November 02, 2012|By WILL ROBINSON | will.robinson@herald-mail.com

Clear Spring cruised into the quarterfinals of the Maryland Class 1A West volleyball tournament on Friday with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-11 sweep of North Carroll.

“We didn’t have to do much to win tonight,” said Blazers coach Sabrina Lee-LeHew. “I’m glad we didn’t drop our intensity. We maintained that full effort throughout the game.”

The Blazers (8-8) relied heavily on good serves and errors by the Panthers.

Sarah Elwood started Set 1 with four straight service points en route to a 14-7 Clear Spring lead before North Carroll’s first timeout. The Panthers cut the deficit to 19-14, which led to a Clear Spring timeout But four straight kills by Kyleigh Stottlemyer helped give the Blazers the set.

Clear Spring’s offense didn’t have to put in a whole lot of effort in Set 2, as 16 errors by North Carroll accounted for most of the Blazers’ points. Elwood continued her strong serving with six service points in the set, while Sarah Blickenstaff was right behind her with five.

Elwood led the Blazers with 16 service points, Blickenstaff had 11 and Sam Michael added 10.

“The serving was spot-on tonight,” said Lee-LeHew. “I challenged the girls to improve their serves and I think they rose to the challenge.”

The Blazers went right at the Panthers in Set 3. North Carroll took timeouts with Clear Spring up 15-6 and 24-10, but Alexis Yost’s lone kill of the match finished off Clear Spring’s victory.

“This was a good match for us. I was most happy with the ‘almost dead balls’ that we kept in play. Those are the hustle plays. In September, those would have hit the floor,” Lee-LeHew said.

Elwood had 13 assists, four blocks and 18 digs, Blickenstaff had 13 digs, Michael had 10 digs, Stottlemyer had nine kills and Kristen Mellott added nine blocks for the Blazers.

With the win, Clear Spring advances to face top-seed and three-time defending 1A state champion Smithsburg on Monday at a time to be announced.

“When it comes to playoffs, anyone can win and anyone can lose. I want them to want it. I’ve seen sparks of that and I want that desire to grow,” Lee-LeHew said. “We know that to face Smithsburg, we have to have a completely different game. We know we’re ready.”

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