YORK – It will be two of the hottest teams in Class D-2 competing for the Crossroads Conference Tournament championship.
Top-seeded and #3-ranked Exeter-Milligan held off an upset bid by #7 and fifth-seeded Meridian while #6 Hampton swept past Class D-1 #9 BDS in semifinal action Monday night in York to reach the championship.The two teams – neither of which has lost in over a month – will face each other at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the York City Auditorium. Exeter-Milligan (21-3) extended its winning streak to 13 in a row while Hampton (22-4) won its 15th straight, all of which have been in straight sets for the Hawks.
In the first semifinal, Exeter-Milligan and Meridian split the first two sets and were tied at 21-21 in the third set when the Timberwolves’ Ashley Benorden got a kill and a Meridian hitting error put Exeter-Milligan up 23-21. An Allison Klipp kill got the Mustangs within 23-22, but Exeter-Milligan ended the set with another kill from Benorden and a monster slam in the middle from Marissa Howard.
Meridian (17-8) responded by dominating the fourth set 25-11, but Exeter-Milligan recaptured the momentum early in the fifth set and stormed out to a 12-5 lead behind the play of Howard and Hailey Luzum. Meridian, however, wasn’t finished as the Mustangs got a pair of Klipp kills to start a 5-0 run that got them within 12-10. A pair of Meridian errors got Exeter-Milligan to match point at 14-10 and Howard finished it with another kill after Meridian fought off one match point for the 25-18, 22-25, 25-23, 11-25, 15-11 victory.
In the second semifinal, Hampton pulled away late in the first set for a 25-18 win over BDS (20-5). The second set was tighter, as Hampton was able to extend its lead to 23-21 late on a kill by Madison VanHousen. A service error by the Hawks helped BDS pull within 23-22, but consecutive kills by Tayler Klassen ended it at 25-22 for Hampton. The Hawks then controlled the entire third set en route to the 25-18, 25-22, 25-19.