The Francis Scott Key Eagles' final five points in the clinching fourth game against South Hagerstown last night showed what separated them from a lot of teams this season.
Senior Kristy Hollman started it with a service point winner. Then it was junior Cindy Sheedy with a kill. A side out later, Nicole Keffer provided a service point. Ericka Rutzebeck followed with a kill. After a brief South Hagerstown rally, it was side out and then Stephanie Stambaugh's turn.
Her kill was the final punctuation mark in the No. 9 Eagles' 13-15, 15-8, 15-4, 15-10 win over the visiting Rebels. The Eagles remain perfect on the season at 12-0 and clinched at least a share of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League title with a 6-0 mark.
"They were a one-dimensional team and we're a six-dimensional team, that's been our key," said Eagles coach Leo Totten.
The one dimension South Hagerstown had was senior hitter Tiffany Jones, who was all over the place in the Rebels' first-game win.
"Because we're undefeated, I think everyone wants to beat us. I guess we also knew they had a big player, so we came out a little nervous," said Stambaugh. "We just work really well together and are always having fun."
Stambaugh neutralized the Rebels' big hitter the rest of the night. Key had plenty of resources offensively, the Rebels did not.
"Tiffany's an outstanding athlete and their whole team centeraround her," Totten said. "We basically kept our hitting normal, changing the pace some and coming with some different angles. When we got some momentum, Tiffany got frustrated and out of
Sheedy dominated the second game to get the Eagles even aone game apiece. She had five kills, a dink and a block to help turn a 2-2 tie into an 11-3 advantage.
"When it was her turn to pound, she pounded," said Totten.
In game three, Sheedy was in back serving with Stambaugh and Rutzebeck doing the damage up front in the Eagles' 15-4 win. South Hagerstown stayed close in the early part of the fourth game before Key's Amy Brooks got in the act with a block and a dink down the line.
Stambaugh finished with 19 kills, with Sheedy adding 15. The Eagles also got 20 assists from Erin Ness and 18 more from Hollman.
The Eagles will put their perfect record on the line Thursday at Williamsport before closing out their regular season at home against Fallston on Oct. 30.