Freeport hungry for WPIAL girls volleyball title

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Friday, November 1, 2019 | 6:29 PM


The Freeport girls volleyball team celebrated Thursday’s come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Avonworth in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at North Allegheny with a trip to Chick-fil-A.

“My girls all love Chick-fil-A, and they kind of devoured a lot of chicken sandwiches on the way home,” Yellowjackets coach Tom Phillips said.

Phillips hopes his team is able to devour No. 1 seed North Catholic in Saturday’s championship game at Fox Chapel. He knows it will be a challenge, but it’s one his players are ready to take on as they seek the program’s fifth WPIAL title and first since 2016.

The Trojanettes, undefeated this season in their mission to repeat as WPIAL champs, scored a 3-1 victory over No. 5 Beaver in the second match of Thursday’s Class AA doubleheader at North Allegheny.

“We’ve scouted North Catholic a few times this season, and we knew some things about them even before seeing them against Beaver,” Phillips said. “They’ve been a dominant team and the pick from the very beginning. They beat North Allegheny, Canon-McMillan and probably any good school in any classification. They are a very top-notch team, and it’s going to take a tremendous effort from us to beat them.

“But that’s what the playoffs are all about. They’re about teams who get hot. The girls have a lot of momentum, and they hope they can carry it over to Saturday.”

North Catholic, which dropped the first set against Beaver, rallied to win Games 2 and 3 and then finished off the match with a 27-25 victory in Game 4.

The Trojanettes have a deep lineup and are led by 6-foot senior outside hitter Dominique Felix, an all-state selection in 2018. They won the Section 2 title by three games over runner-up Avonworth.

“We’ve been working on a few things that are a little different from what we’ve shown in the past,” Phillips said. “The girls are really versatile players. Hopefully, that can work out in our favor. We’re happy to be there and have the opportunity to play as well as we can.”

Freeport, in the WPIAL finals for the fourth time in the past five seasons, suffered a loss to Beaver in the 2017 title game before making a run to its first-ever PIAA championship.

Last year, the Yellowjackets were denied the opportunity to play North Catholic for the title with their loss to Frazier in the semifinals.

The seven Freeport seniors — Cora Crytzer, Samantha Clark, Mackensey Jack, Tori Radvan, Lauren Lampus, Maddie Clark and Isabella Russo — are hoping to bring things full circle after being a part of the 2016 WPIAL title team as freshmen.

Freeport (17-0), which swept past South Park and Hopewell in the first two rounds, had lost only one game through its first 16 matches before dropping the first two to Avonworth on Wednesday.

But the Yellowjackets began their rally with a convincing 25-16 win in Game 3, tied the match with a 25-22 triumph in Game 4 and completed the victory by a 15-7 score in the fifth and deciding game.

“It was a good victory for us,” Phillips said. “It built a lot of character. A lot of people stepped up and played well.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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