Allegany assumes control late, puts an end to Hereford's season Campers win last 11 points to advance to state 1A final


November 18, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In a match filled with streaks, Allegany struck last and %J Hereford struck out.

Allegany forced a fifth game by getting the final eight points of Game 4, and the Campers scored the final 11 points of the match to capture a 9-15, 15-2, 11-15, 15-6, 15-5 victory over Hereford in a Class 1A state semifinal last night at Essex Community College.

Hereford (17-3) was up and down, playing well in the first and third games but struggling the rest of the way -- especially against Allegany's front line. The Campers scored 23 of the match's final 28 points to advance to Saturday's state title match against the Rising Sun-Smithsburg winner.

"There was a lot of nerves," said Hereford coach Pat Pilson. "They wanted it really bad [and] they just weren't clicking."

Junior hitter Tara Clarke admitted that nerves caused Hereford problems. Noise also bothered them as the Bulls had trouble hearing one another on the court, which led to miscommunication.

Clarke, who led the team with six kills, said the Bulls played much too tentatively, especially late in the match. She said Hereford was taking shots hoping "to just get them in" rather than attacking as it usually does.

"Our hits were soft, and our sets weren't as good," she said. "We played down a little bit."

Cassie Murray and Tracey Little ruled the front row for Allegany (16-4). Murray finished with a team-high 13 kills and seven blocks; Little added six of each. Lauren Stillwagon had a strong match at setter, totaling 14 assists, as the Campers ran off a number of streaks.

Hereford used a five-point streak of its own, behind the serving of Meghan Butler, to take a 9-5 lead and gain control in the first game. But Meghan Getty served well during an 11-point run that gave the Campers a 12-1 lead in the second game.

The Bulls bounced back in game three, scoring eight of the first 10 points. But the Campers came back to tie the score at eight and nine. Erin McElvaney then gave the Campers some more trouble with her spinning serves for a 12-9 lead, and the Bulls hung on to win.

Allegany took a 7-2 lead in Game 4, but the Bulls looked to have the momentum when they scored the next four. That's when the match swung to the Campers. Behind the good serving of Little and some strong play at the net from Murray and Mandy Talley, the Campers ran off the next six points for a 13-6 lead.

The Bulls appeared to have some momentum when they took a 5-4 lead in Game 5, but the Campers then reeled off the final 11 points for the win.

"This has been the story of the team all year," said Allegany coach Jack Murray. "They need some pressure to make them push."

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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