Aly Kindelberger delivers for Franklin Regional volleyball in state semifinals

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | 8:57 PM


Franklin Regional senior Aly Kindelberger was delivering cake pops to her teammates after Tuesday’s PIAA Class 3A semifinal match against DuBois.

It was appropriate because moments earlier, she delivered the team to a 3-0 sweep against District 9 champion DuBois and a berth in the PIAA championship game against Bethlehem Catholic on Saturday at Cumberland Valley.

Kindelberger, a DePaul signee, dominated the front line with numerous spikes and blocks to lead the Panthers with wins of 25-19, 25-10 and 25-17 and a spot in their first state final.

Two weeks ago, Franklin Regional won its first WPIAL title.

“That was a typical game for me,” Kindelberger said. “I thought we played great. There were a couple of mistakes, but I feel pretty confident going into the next game.”

Kindelberger had 10 kills and blocks during the first match. With the score tied 11-11, Kindelberger went on a five-point run that saw the Panthers open a 22-13 lead. Senior Renee Baldy added a couple of spikes for the Panthers.

“We came to play, and they had a mission and they achieved it,” Franklin Regional coach Mike Feorene said. “Every kid out on that court and in the gym worked extremely hard to get to this point. I can’t say enough what all of them did.”

DuBois, which hadn’t played in three weeks because of various factors — including the coronavirus — hung in during Game 1, but the Panthers put away the visitors quickly in Game 2.

Kindelberger, Baldy and Ella Evans put down kills in the second game against a shell-shocked DuBois squad, the District 9 champion.

“I thought we played well defensively in the first game,” DuBois coach Jason Gustafson said. “I’m not making any excuses. We made too many mistakes against a very good team. Kindelberger is a very good player, but it’s tough to neutralize her.”

The 6-foot-2 middle hitter finished with finished with 25 points off kills, dinks and blocks.

“We didn’t come into the gym with the right mindset,” DuBois senior Taylor Smith said. “We were in awe of them and then committed too many mistakes.”

DuBois jumped to a 3-0 lead in Game 3, but the WPIAL champion Panthers got two aces from Alexa Feorene, the coach’s daughter, to snag a 7-4 lead. DuBois went up 10-9 before the Panthers scored four consecutive points to grab a 14-10 lead.

Franklin Regional gradually pulled away behind kills by Kindelberger and Baldy and aces from Kamryn Marcus and Sydney Breitkreutz.

“Aly can hit hard, but she’s also a smart player. She understands defenses well,” Mike Feorene said. “Our serving was spectacular. We kept them out of position. They all did a tremendous job.”

Now Kindelberger and her teammates get ready for one more test.

“We’re excited,” Kindelberger said. “We’ve been playing together for years. We’ve never made it this far, but definitely we have a chance.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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