Franklin Regional volleyball impresses with straight-sets win in PIAA quarterfinals
Saturday, November 14, 2020 | 5:25 PM
There is a thing or two about his girls volleyball team coach Mike Feorene might wish he could change. It’s just Feorene doesn’t feel the need to tinker much amid another season of thrills at Franklin Regional.
When you’re shooting for a state championship, you must be doing things right.
In a week when she officially signed a letter of intent with DePaul, senior Aly Kindelberger logged 17 kills to surpass 1,000 for her career and lead Franklin Regional, which continued to roll Saturday on its home court with a three-set victory in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals over District 6 champion Bellefonte, 25-15, 25-17, 25-22.
Sophomore Ella Evans added nine kills, and seniors Renee Baldi and Alexa Feorene chipped in seven apiece for Franklin Regional (17-2).
Junior Sydney Breitkreutz logged nine digs, and senior Ashley Feorene contributed five service aces for the WPIAL champion Panthers, who will play four-time District 9 champion DuBois (11-4) in the semifinals Tuesday, the survivor playing in the state title match Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg.
“We feel we’re a legitimate state championship contender this year,” Alexa Feorene said. “We don’t really think much about how good we’ve been doing. It just kind of happens, and all of a sudden, you’re here.”
To be clear, there’s not a lot of luck involved here. This Franklin Regional team has few weaknesses.
“It’s surreal,” Mike Feorene said. “Our defense is incredible. We dug five balls out of the floor today that were all in really different situations, and we actually ran an offense out of them and scored points.”
DuBois, the lone Class 3A team in District 9, won by forfeit over District 10 champion Conneaut in their scheduled PIAA quarterfinal-round match after the Eagles produced two positive covid-19 tests.
“We’re playing good volleyball now,” Mike Feorene said. “I’ve asked a lot from these girls every single game. But I tell them all the time that they’ve got to go a step higher.”
The 6-foot-1 Kindelberger got her 1,000th career kill in the first set.
While Kindelberger is the centerpiece of the team, she’s not the only threat.
“We have depth all around,” Ashley Feorene said. “We have reliable backups that we need to be successful, and sometimes we need it quickly. We don’t ever take that for granted.”
Three consecutive kills by Evans followed by four in a row by Kindelberger gave Franklin Regional a 15-8 advantage in the third set before the Panthers held off a late Bellefonte charge that saw the Red Raiders close within 24-22 on a block by senior Makenna Port.
Senior Nicole Currens’ kill on the final play closed out the match and gave Franklin Regional the straight-sets victory.
The victory helped Franklin Regional surpass last year’s season, where the Panthers were ousted in the PIAA quarterfinals by WPIAL champion Knoch, which finished runner-up in the state.
Tags: Franklin Regional
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