From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — Undefeated Fort Hill and Smithsburg (14-3) will play for the Maryland Class 1A West Region volleyball championship for the fifth straight season as the Sentinels host the four-time defending state champion Leopards tonight, 6 o’clock, at Fort Hill.
Fort Hill (16-0) won the West Section I final on Wednesday with a 25-5, 25-11, 25-11 over Southern Garrett, while Smithsburg took the Section II title on Wednesday with a 25-10, 25-17, 25-14 win over Clear Spring.
Tonight’s match will mark the sixth straight time Fort Hill and Smithsburg will have met in the state playoffs and the fifth straight time in the Region championship match. Fort Hill was the last team to beat the Leopards in the postseason, doing so in the 2008 Region semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Poolesville in the region final. Since then, Smithsburg has won 22 matches in a row and 61 straight sets in postseason play.
Fort Hill has never reached the state tournament in volleyball, while Smithsburg has gotten there 12 times, winning nine times, which is tied for third-most in the state with Northern-Calvert. Centennial leads the way with 14 championships and Williamsport is next with 13. Current Smithsburg head coach Rachel Brashear has coached the Leopards to the last four state titles.
Coached by Joe Brewer, Fort Hill was led in Wednesday’s section title game by Sarah Lowery with 10 kills and 19 points. Haley Wolfe had 28 assists and six points for the Sentinels, while Erin Amoruso scored 13 points with six aces and Skylar Barbe had 13 points, six aces and two kills. Bailey Godlove had six kills and Danielle Hershiser five kills.
Sophomore middle hitter Alaina Black led Smithsburg against Clear Spring with 10 kills and seven aces. Senior Amanda Snowden had 13 kills, sophomore Hollee Winders five kills and junior Payton Belella 27 assists. Junior Marissa Dangler led the defense with 14 digs, seniors Jess Sensenbaugh and Jenny Fritts each added six digs and sophomore Megan Moran had four blocks.