2013 MSA Sports Hometown Girls Volleyball Playoff Recaps

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 1:22 PM


Six of the seven teams that were a part of the 2013 MSA Sports Girls Volleyball Program qualified for the WPIAL postseason. Over the next two weeks, anytime Avonworth, Brentwood, South Side, Blackhawk, Freeport and West Allegheny hit the court, we will recap their playoff performance right here.

WPIAL CLASS AA FIRST ROUND:

FREEPORT YELLOWJACKETS 3 – Quaker Valley Quakers 0
The Freeport girls’ volleyball team took the first step towards its goal of winning the WPIAL championship with a straight-sets victory against Quaker Valley on Thursday. The No. 2-seeded Yellowjackets prevailed over the No. 15 seed Quakers 25-18, 25-11 and 25-17 in Class AA first round action. After the Quakers tied the opening set at 10-10, Freeport captured four straight points and maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the set. In the middle set, the Yellowjackets utilized two separate 8-0 spurts to notch the game. Quaker Valley responded early in the final set, but Freeport gained its first advantage 9-8 and never surrendered the lead en route to the match victory. Senior Alexis Schrecengost anchored the front line for the Yellowjackets, as she frequently used her height and athleticism to throw down ferocious spikes. Sophomore standout Zoe Pawlak also was impressive with her play at the net, as well as on the serve. Libero Brittney Bianco, as well as Jessica Kelley, Megan Sweeny, Grace Ward and Morgan Ruppersberger also played key roles in the victory. The Yellowjackets will square off against No. 7 Central Valley in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 29

Knoch Knights 3 – BLACKHAWK COUGARS 0
The Blackhawk Cougars ran into a buzz-saw Thursday night as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Knoch Knights at Hopewell High School in the 1st Round of the WPIAL Class AA Girls' Volleyball playoffs.  The Knights' 1-2 punch of Celina Sanks and Mary Zellhart in the front-court was deadly as the Cougars had no answer for their killing prowess.  Blackhawk attempted to keep the first game close, but ended up dropping Game 1, 25-17.  Knoch started to pull away in Game 2 as they led by as many as 12 points en route to an easy 25-14 decision.  The Knights kept their momentum going all the way through Game 3 as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back.  Knoch cruised to a 25-8 victory and eliminated the Cougars from the playoffs.  Knoch moves on to the quarterfinal round to face the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars, who eliminated Kittanning in their 1st Round match.  With the loss, Brianna Camp, Makenna Malinowski, Hannah Schaly, Hannah Pringle, Allison Menges, and Haley Schramm all played their last volleyball matches as members of the Blackhawk Cougars as they will graduate this spring.

WPIAL CLASS AAA FIRST ROUND:

Seneca Valley Raiders 3 – WEST ALLEGHENY INDIANS 0
West Allegheny's season cane to an end on Wednesday night falling to Seneca Valley 3 games to 0 by scores of 27-25, 25-6, 25-18.  West Allegheny came into the playoffs as the number 13 seed and was the underdog versus the Raiders.  The Indians cane out strong jumping out to a 7-2 lead taking advantage of a couple of blocks by Lizzy Murn and kills by Alexis Hamm.  Seneca Valley would cut the lead to one thanks to the strong play of Morgan Chapman.  The Indians again would not panic and built a 21-13 lead following Alwxis Hamm's 6 kills seven straight to cut the lead to one.  West Allegheny had a couple game points but could covert and the Raiders would take game one.  Morgan Chapman had 6 kills and Abigal Trzeciak had 3 kills for the Raiders.  Seneca Valley would dominate game two.  Kaitlyn Brown and Sydney Martini led the way for the Raiders.  Game three was much different,  The Indians would play much better defensively and would only trail 11-9 but Seneca Valley had too many weapons and the Raiders would pull away for the victory.  This is a very young West Allegheny team and they will be back even better in 2014.

WPIAL CLASS A FIRST ROUND:

Neshannock Lancers 3 – SOUTH SIDE BEAVER RAMS 2
At North Allegheny High School in Girls single A first round volleyball playoff action the 12th seeded Neshanock Lancers upset the number 5 seed South Side Rams by a 3-2 match score. Game scores were 25-14, 15-25, 22-25, 25-22, and 15-11. In game 1, Neshanock was led by Jordan Wethil. The Jr OH provided the spark in a dominant 25-14 win. In game 2 the Rams took control early as Alexis Dhayer the Jr MH was tremendous at the net on offense and defense in a 25-15 win and it was tied 1-1. Game 3 was back and forth and saw each team play well in the best game of the match. South Side took control at 10-10 and held off the Lancers. Jr Cheyenne Seik provided the spark for the Rams in a 25-22 win to put South Side up 2-1. Game 4 was a battle. Both teams fought hard but the Rams jumped to a 12-6 lead. However the Lancers would out score them 19-10 and come back to win 25-22 to tie the match at 2-2. Junior setter Taylor Frank was the star consistently getting the ball to the front line and defending the Ram attack. Game five was also a battle and was tied 5-5. Then Neshanock took off scoring 10 of the last 16 points playing great defense to win 15-11, and the match 3-2. South Side ends their season at 11-6 and loses 8 seniors to graduation. The young Lancers with only 3 seniors improve to 10-3 and will face section 3 rival Shenango in the quarter finals next week on a date and time to be determined.

West Shamokin Wolves 3 – AVONWORTH ANTELOPES 0
The 11th seeded Avonworth Antelopes saw their season come to an end for the second straight year at Shaler High School as the West Shamokin Wolves swept the Antelopes out of the playoffs (3-0) winning games by scores 0f 25-18, 25-14 and 25-16. The first game was the closest of the three on the night as it was tied at 11-all before the Wolves won 7 of the next 8 points to take control and eventually win by 7. Avonowrth jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game 2, before West Shamokin ran off 13 unanswered points to take command. The run for the Wolves was keyed by the string service of sophomore setter Sierra Dailey. The third game also featured a West Shamokin run as the Wolves took 10-of-11 points at one stretch to lead 16-8 on their way to the sweep. Another constant throughout the match was mistakes by the Antelopes. Avonworth head coach Doug Vandervort said after the match that mistakes were a big part of the season for the Antelopes and the first round playoff match was no different. (5-9) senior hitter Alecia Calhoun and (5-8) senior outside hitter Amanda Wensel had big games for West Shamokin as did (5-8) freshman Katie Glover. Avonworth was paced by senior Olivia London who had a strong match with several kills from the back line for the Antelopes. Avonworth’s season ends at (14-5) but the MSA Sports Hometown Volleyball School qualified for the WPIAL Playoffs for the 13th straight season. After capturing their first section title (co-champions with Greensburg Central Catholic in Section 1A) West Shamokin improved to (12-1) and the Wolves posted their 12th consecutive victory. #6 West Shamokin advances to the WPIAL Girls Class A Quarterfinals again to face either third seeded Our Lady of the Sacred Heart or section foe Leechburg, the #14 seed. The quarterfinal loss marked the final game in a successful career for six Avonworth seniors. Hitter Mackenzie Mayernik missed the game as she is rehabbing a torn ACL. Abby Turnbull, Ericka Thomas, who played well in the libero position for Avonworth, Olivia McKay, Olivia London and Katie Pendrak, will all move on for the Antelopes.

WPIAL CLASS A PRELIMINARY ROUND:

Leechburg Blue Devils 3 – BRENTWOOD SPARTANS 0
A nice year for the Brentwood girls volleyball team came to an end Tuesday night at Fox Chapel High School, as the Spartans resiliently fell to the Leechburg Blue Devils 3-0 (25-21, 25,7, 25-21). After falling behind 17-0 in the first game, Brentwood would rally to cut the Devils lead to 19-17. But Leechburg would come up with some big kills down the stretch, taking game one 25-21. Leechburg carried the momentum into the second game, going up 9-1 and then 15-2 to start the set. Brentwood would try to rally, but the deficit was too great, as Leechburg took game two 25-7. The third game was Brentwood's best, as the Spartans forced eight ties and once lead 18-16. But the Blue Devils would gain nine of the final 14 points, taking game three 25-21. Leechburg, who did not clinch a playoff spot until the final night of the regular season when Riverview upset Springdale, will now meet #3 OLSH as the 14-seed in the First Round of the WPIAL Playoffs. That game will take place on Thursday at 7:30 at OLSH. Brentwood, who went 8-4 in section play, sees their season end in the preliminary round for the second-consecutive season. It marked the end of the high school careers of eight seniors for the Spartans, including leading attackers Brooke McWilliams and Alex Gibbons.

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