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Ashley HicksVolleyball

Vilseck

Last week: Hicks, a sophomore middle hitter, registered 26 kills in two matches against Division I opponents last Saturday as the Falcons downed Patch 25-16, 25-17, 25-10 and Heidelberg 25-14, 23-25, 24-26, 25-23, 15-13.

But according to her coach, Kori Pollock, Hicks, a transfer from Würzburg, contributed more than power to Saturday’s sweep that boosted the Falcons’ record to 4-0.

“She had a serving percentage of 92 percent versus Patch and 95 percent against Heidelberg,” Pollock said by telephone on Tuesday. “That’s very important, because serving is the only time you’re in total control of the ball.”

Pollock said that Hicks’ improvement in the second match against Heidelberg couldn’t have come at a better time. Vilseck trailed the Lady Lions two games to one in the best-of-five match before rallying for the 25-23 victory that set up the winner-take-all fifth game.

“Not only is she a good net player, she is a very effective passer,” Pollock said. “She’s been to a number of camps, so you can see she has a real passion for the game.”

Daniel KennedyFootball

Patch

Last week: Kennedy, a junior running back, wrote a Hollywood ending to another victory for the Division I-debutant Panthers last Saturday when he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 left in the game. The run gave unbeaten Patch a 21-16 victory at Wiesbaden and kept the Panthers tied with Ramstein and Heidelberg atop the league standings.

Patch coach Todd Taylor was surprised, even he knew Kennedy, who averages 13.6 yards per carry as a running back, was capable of big plays.

“I would have to have to say that special teams is not a strength of ours,” Taylor wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes, “so that made the return improbable.”

But not impossible, the Panthers believed.

“Daniel asked the kickoff team to give him two seconds of good blocking,” Taylor wrote. “He returned it up the left side of the field.”

Taylor reserved some of the glory for his runner.

“With Daniel’s speed and vision on the field ... every time he touches the ball, a breakaway is possible,” he said.

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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