Ambridge Captures Fourth Straight WPIAL Boys Volleyball AA Crown
Saturday, May 23, 2015 | 12:31 AM
The Ambridge Area boys’ volleyball dynasty continued at Baldwin High School on Friday, as the Bridgers bested Obama Academy in four sets to capture their fourth-consecutive Class AA crown.
The Bridgers have been a staple of success, now with seven titles in the past eight campaigns, while the Eagles were playing in their first season in the WPIAL. Despite the disparity in the history of the programs, all four sets were competitive, with Ambridge prevailing 25-19, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22.
Obama Academy, the No. 4 seed, jumped out to an early lead in the first set, and held that advantage for the majority of the way. The second-seeded Bridgers tied the contest at 17-17, though, and added five points in a row to gain the upper hand en route to capturing the set.
The second set followed a similar narrative to the first, as the Eagles overcome an early Ambridge lead to notch an 8-7 advantage. The Eagles lead increased to four points, at 12-8, but the Bridgers again responded. During a 6-0 run, Ambridge surged ahead and never relinquished the advantage to take the second set.
Facing a must-win scenario, Obama Academy showed its resolve in the third set. Much like the first two sets, the Eagles held command for the majority of the frame, including a four-point lead at 20-16. Ambridge trimmed into that deficit, though, and deadlocked the score at 23-23. After the teams exchanged the next two points, the Eagles scored two straight to take the set.
The fourth and final set, however, was all Bridgers, as Ambridge never trailed. After failing into a five-point deficit, Obama pulled within striking distance, and even tied the score at 18-18. The Bridgers proved to be too much for the upstart Eagles, however, as Ambridge scored seven of the final 11 points to claim the set and match.
Junior Anthony Baronio paced the Bridgers with 15 kills, and was also recognized as the best player in the Class AA postseason. Likewise, Derek Kuhn, one of just two returning starters from last year’s championship squad, added 11 kills, while libero Mitch Brewer, Daylon Carter and Adam Fryer all turned in impressive performances in the triumph.
Raymond Cascio, a senior hitter, led Obama Academy with 15 kills, while Denzel Fields, Connor Claussen and Michael Wimer were also instrumental in the Eagles’ effort.
Both teams advance to the PIAA postseason, as does No. 1 seed Derry Area, which captured a straight-sets victory against Beaver County Christian in the consolation game.
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