Amid program’s best run, Freeport girls volleyball team still hungry

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Monday, November 13, 2017 | 12:06 AM


The Freeport girls volleyball team celebrated making school history Saturday with dinner and a movie.

After beating defending state champion Corry to become the first squad in program history to reach the PIAA Class AA semifinals, the Yellowjackets took a trip to Chili's in Butler for a team dinner before moving on to the home of Matt and Jodi Crytzer, parents of senior libero Claire Crytzer, where they kicked back and watched the video of Saturday's win.

“Everybody had a good time just being with each other,” Freeport coach Tom Phillips said. “The girls enjoyed watching the game again and talking about it in a relaxed atmosphere. They were having fun reliving the match with Corry, and they were already talking a lot about Tuesday's match.”

Saturday's 3-1 win, which saw the Yellowjackets bounce back from a loss in Game 1 to win three straight, propelled the team to a rematch Tuesday with WPIAL champion Beaver.

The game is set for 6 p.m. at Seneca Valley.

“Coach (Phillips) promised us if we won, we would go somewhere for dinner,” senior Hannah Mason said with a laugh. “We had to make it happen.”

Mason and her Freeport teammates made it happen by dominating Game 4, 25-13 — quieting a spirited Corry student section — to close the match against the previously undefeated Beavers. The Yellowjackets committed only three errors in the final game, and one was a two-hits violation the Freeport players and coaches questioned.

“We didn't play what we feel is Freeport volleyball in that first game,” Mason said. “We talked about what needed to change. We buckled down and got the job done. I wasn't ready to play my last game. I know nobody else was either.”

The Yellowjackets had been one step away from the PIAA semifinals four times since 2009.

But as tantalizing as it would have been to look ahead to the final four and a potential rematch with Beaver, the players made it a point to give focus to the task at head.

Corry, several said, would be more than enough to occupy their time and preparation. After all, the defending state champion carried a dominant 19-0 mark into the match.

“We didn't want to talk about (the semifinals), but it looms in front of us now,” Phillips said. “We knew a lot about Beaver and Serra, so we didn't worry about looking ahead. We knew there was no next round unless we took care of business against Corry.”

“All throughout the season, we never looked too far ahead,” sophomore outside hitter Lauren Lampus said.

“We knew we had a lot of goals for the playoffs, but we had to focus on each match in section and our nonsection games. Concentrating on each game at the time and not worry about anything else helped us focus on getting better.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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