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Bamberg's Debra McNamara generates some arm speed as she makes a kill over Vicenza's Candida Kilgore during Bamberg's 25-15, 25-17 pool-play victory Friday in the 2003 Army-Europe volleyball tournament at Patton Barracks in Heidelberg. The tournament continues through Sunday.
Bamberg's Debra McNamara generates some arm speed as she makes a kill over Vicenza's Candida Kilgore during Bamberg's 25-15, 25-17 pool-play victory Friday in the 2003 Army-Europe volleyball tournament at Patton Barracks in Heidelberg. The tournament continues through Sunday. (Rusty Bryan / S&S)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — The defending champion Stuttgart men and Heidelberg women will take undefeated 3-0 records into Saturday’s semifinals of the 2003 Army-Europe volleyball championships.

With one game left to play in pool play, Heidelberg assured itself of the top seed in the women’s draw thanks to a 25-15, 25-19 victory Friday over Bamberg.

Bamberg was playing its second match in succession Friday and third of the day when it ran into Heidelberg. Still, fatigue wasn’t a factor, according to Bamberg’s Erin McLaughlin.

“It’s uncommon for a tournament in which there are so few matches to run over two days,” she said. “We’d prefer to play one match after another — to get in a zone and stay in a zone.”

Bamberg’s zone began with a forfeit victory over Graf-Vilseck, then a 21-25, 25-6, 15-13 victory over Ansbach and a 25-15, 25-17 conquest of Vicenza.

Playing one match after another certainly paid dividends for the Stuttgart men, who claimed a forfeit victory over no-show Kitzingen on Thursday, and then defeated Graf-Vilseck 25-15, 25-15 and Vicenza 23-25, 25-17, 15-10.

Kitzingen showed up Friday, and took a game to come together before downing Vicenza 25-27, 25-21, 15-8.

“We couldn’t pull a team together on Thursday,” said Kitzingen coach Val Aquino after his Rattlers had defeated Vicenza. “Everybody had to work.”

Having to forfeit two matches put Kitzingen into Saturday’s 4 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Stuttgart.

“We’ve taken a couple of games from them during the season,” Aquino said of Stuttgart, “but they won all the tournaments we played.”

The other men’s semifinal, scheduled for 2:30 p.m., pits Graf-Vilseck against Vicenza.

Women’s play begins at 10 a.m. with a playoff for fourth place between Graf-Vilseck and Vicenza. The winner takes on Heidelberg at 1 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m., Bamberg and Ansbach will play for a berth in Sunday’s 1 p.m. title game.

The men’s championship game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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