High School Volleyball: Smithsburg pushes past Clear Spring in quarterfinals

November 05, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — The Smithsburg volleyball team began its quest for a fourth straight Maryland Class 1A state title with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-16 sweep of Clear Spring in a West region quarterfinal match Monday.

Smithsburg (13-3) will host Boonsboro in a semifinal on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“I think tonight was good for our confidence going into the playoffs,” Smithsburg coach Rachel Brashear said. “It is always nice to get that first one under your belt. I thought that we played solid all-around tonight. I was proud of the way that my girls played. We have had about two weeks off since we last played.”

Payton Belella had 34 assists, while Jess Sensenbaugh had 15 service points for Smithsburg. Amanda Snowden had 17 kills and eight digs, while Marissa Dangler had 12 digs, Haley Caudell added nine kills and three blocks and Emily Seward had four kills and two blocks for the Leopards.

Sarah Elwood had nine assists and nine digs for Clear Spring (7-9), while Sarah Blickenstaff had 10 digs, Kristen Mellott had nine service points, five kills and two blocks, Kyleigh Stottlemyer had 11 kills and three blocks and Olivia Rowe had six kills and five blocks for the Blazers.

“We gave it all that we had during the first two sets,” Clear Spring coach Sabrina LeHew said. “I was super proud of the girls’ efforts. We had heart. I think when we had that slow start in the third set, it let doubt creep in. I love this team and I am proud of their season. It ends on a low note, but we know what we need to build on for next year.”

During the first set, Caudell got four service points in a row to increase Smithsburg’s advantage to 8-2. The Leopards took their biggest lead at 16-7. But the Blazers proved that they were not going to quit as they rallied, behind seven straight service points by Mellott, to tie the game at 20-20.

Smithsburg then went back on top to stay as it got a point on a sideout on a kill by Seward. Seward then added two service points, including an ace, to extend the lead to 23-20. Both teams got a point on a sideout before Belella served the set point for the win.

After winning the second set, the Leopards raced out to an 8-1 lead during the third set, helped by five straight service points by Sensenbaugh. Sensenbaugh later added another string of five service points to boost the lead to 22-12. Snowden had a match-ending kill for Smithsburg.

“Clear Spring is always a real scrappy team and they are very well-coached,” Brashear said. “I am happy to get out of here with a win tonight.”

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