North Hopkins, Cumby meeting resembles first match
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 13, 2004 - CUMBY - The second meeting of the year for Cumby and North Hopkins was no different then their first encounter Friday night in a District 19-A volleyball matchup at Trojan Gymnasium.

Coach Danna Lewis' Lady Panthers swept Cumby in three games for a 25-22, 24-12, 25-21 victory to stay undefeated in district play. North Hopkins won the first matchup 26-24, 25-13, 25-14 in Birthright Sept. 22.

Coach Ron Hogue's Lady Trojans are now 11-7 overall and 3-3 on the district season and will host Fruitvale Saturday with junior varsity action starting at 10 a.m.

"I think the girls need to stay positive and focused," Hogue said. "We lost to Boles last Friday night at home, and we played well and so did Boles in that game. It was a lot like tonight because we just didn't get the runs when we needed them."

North Hopkins improves to 15-8 overall and 6-0 in district play and will host Miller Grove Friday night at with junior varsity action starting at 5 p.m.

"We are definitely going to work on serving," Lewis said. "We are going to work on picking up more of the dinks even though we are doing better than we were earlier in the year."

North Hopkins started game one slowly as Cumby took a 19-15 lead, but then turned it on with an eight-point run on the serving of Tashona Berry.

"We have a tendency to do start out slow and it is what we have been doing all season," Lewis said. "I am real proud of the girls, and they are playing really good volleyball right now."

Hogue said in game one Berry helped to turn the game around in North Hopkins' favor due to the fact they had trouble breaking the serve.

"They had an eight-point run and you have to give credit to Berry with her serving back there during the game. She would use that sideways spin and it would go to the opposite corner and that killed us," Hogue said. "She scored eight points in a row that first game. I called both of my timeouts to try and freeze her, but it didn't work."

By the end of the run, North Hopkins took a 21-20 lead before Cumby senior Christina Chambliss capitalized on one of her three kills to tie the game at 21-21.

Cumby scored their final point of the game on a kill by Megan Strickland with an assist by Chambliss for a 22-21 lead.

The Lady Panthers stormed back for the final four points behind strong serving from Ebbonye Johnson with an ace during that run.

Katy Williams got one of her four kills on an assist from Maegan Baxter for a 24-22 lead, and then Cumby hit the net on an attempted kill to close out the first game.

"It seemed like every time we would get something started, we would hit a serve in the net or miss some hits," Hogue said. "We had several opportunities to win both games except for the second one tonight."

In game two, Cumby took the early lead but could not contain the consistent play of Williams and Johnson. The duo combined for nine kills in game two as Johnson had three consecutive kills early in the game when Cumby had a 5-4 lead.

Freshman Scarlett Tarno gave Cumby a 6-5 lead on one of her team-high nine kills in the match, before North Hopkins started another scoring run.

Johnson started a 4-0 run later on in game two on an ace for a 14-9 lead, and then made her second ace of the game after a Cumby timeout for a 17-9 lead.

Williams then gave North Hopkins a 23-12 lead with her second ace of the game en route to closing out game two for the Lady Panthers.

In game three, the Lady Trojans started out slowly and North Hopkins capitalized on serving mistakes throughout the game to take an eight-point lead at 17-9 on a kill by Williams.

Cumby's Tarno got her final kill of the game leading to a seven-point run by the Lady Trojans to get to within four at 21-17.

"I think we need to work on our backside coverage because I didn't think we did a good job on that tonight," Hogue said. "We did well on it in the third game, but the second game we didn't do as well."

After an ace by Lady Trojan Dani Baur, North Hopkins closed out the game on the next point as Cumby hit the ball into the net on an attempted kill.

Chambliss finished the night with three kills, two aces and two assists, while teammate Erin Templeton had two aces and two kills for Cumby.

Meagan Strickland had four kills and Baur had one ace in the game, while teammate Mary Ugalde had one ace and three assists for the Lady Trojans.

Williams ended the game with eight kills and two aces for the Lady Panthers, while Baxter had 11 assists and one kill on the night. Johnson rounded out the night with 10 kills and three aces, while Berry finished with two kills and one ace in the match.

Sara Weir had three kills and Ashley Wilson had an ace for the Lady Panthers.

With Fruitvale coming in Saturday, Hogue said a win against them and a North Hopkins win against Boles will keep them in the playoffs picture with four games to go this season. Cumby will have two home games and two away games to round out the season.

"We need to beat Fruitvale and have North Hopkins beat Boles and we will be cheering for North Hopkins to give us a chance for the playoffs," Hogue said. "They have to beat Boles for us, but I think we will be all right for the remainder of the season."

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