Prep Volleyball: Hubs complete trifecta

North joins Smithsburg and Williamsport in state finals

November 14, 2012|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN |
  • North Hagerstown's Michey Moody, left, Jessica Wivell, Tana McKinsey and Khaliah Frost celebrate a set point against Bel Air in the Maryland Class 3A state semfinals Wednesday night in College Park.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — North Hagerstown’s volleyball team completed a Washington County trifecta on Wednesday night.

Following up on the success of Smithsburg and Williamsport, the Hubs played fantastic volleyball in blowing out previously unbeaten Bel Air 25-19, 25-10, 25-11 in the Class 3A state semifinals at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum.

North (17-1) will face another unbeaten team in Centennial (18-0) for the 3A state title on Friday night at 8. The Eagles — who beat La Plata (15-3) 25-13, 25-14, 25-10 in Wednesday’s second semifinal — lead the state with 14 championships and will be looking to add to that record.

The Hubs will be going for their second straight state title. They beat River Hill in five sets in a memorable 3A final a year ago.

“We knew what needed to be done and how awesome (last year’s) experience was,” North senior Lauren Serafini said. “We wanted to be back here and we did whatever it took."

The Hubs wasted little time asserting themselves against the Bobcats (18-1).

Zoe Schreiber opened the match with a kill and an ace, Peyton Wallech put down the first two of her 20 kills, and the rout was on.

North never trailed in the opening set, taking leads of 15-6 and 19-9 before coasting home. Wallech had eight kills and Schreiber added four in the set as the Hubs’ middle hitters dominated.

“Their middles were very strong,” Bel Air coach Tim Markland said. “Every time we made an adjustment, those girls were just really strong ... and they hit hard.”

The Hubs opened Set 2 with a 5-0 run, a nine-point run made it 14-4 and a three-point string made it 17-5. Wallech had eight more kills, Serafini served three of her five aces and Jess Wivell and Christine Randall added two kills each.

North finished with 10 aces in the match, and the Hubs’ strong serves took the Bobcats out of their offense.

“We noticed Bel Air was a strong hitting team, so we knew how important strong serving was,” Serafini said. “Coach (Megan Crawford) was giving us spots to hit to get their offense out of sync.”

“I’m so proud of the team,” Crawford said. “It was a total team effort. We served well, passed well and ran the offense. We served pretty well tonight and got them out of their offense.”

Bel Air opened Set 3 with a 3-0 run, but North countered with a 6-0 run for a 7-4 lead and later pulled away with another 6-0 run for a 16-8 advantage. Wallech had four kills in the set and Schreiber had a kill and two blocks.

The Hubs finished with 34 kills and four blocks, with Sarah Bentley dishing out 29 assists. The Bobcats had 17 kills and five aces, but made 27 errors to North’s 17.

“Tonight, we just didn’t play our best game, and we were up against a very good North Hagerstown team,” Markland said. “Our serve receive was off and it all stemmed from that.”

The 3A state final will be played Friday after Smithsburg (16-3) goes for a fourth straight 1A championship against Perryville (13-6) at 6 p.m. Williamsport (18-1) will play Calvert (15-1) for the 2A title on Monday at 6 p.m.

It’s the first time three county teams have reached the state finals in the same season.

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