Waynesburg girls volleyball on top of its game in playoff win over Frazier

Monday, November 2, 2020 | 10:10 PM

During the regular season, the Waynesburg volleyball team used two wins against rival Frazier to earn a section championship.

On Monday night, the Raiders used a victory over the Commodores to punch their ticket into the WPIAL Class 2A semifinals.

Fifth-seeded Waynesburg (13-2) played a strong match from start to finish and was able to complete a three-game sweep of 13th-seeded Frazier, 25-14, 25-15, 25-19, in the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals at Waynesburg Central High School.

“When a team beats you three times in one season, they are the better team,” Frazier coach Mandy Hartman said. “The second time we played them (a 3-2 Waynesburg victory), I think we probably overachieved. They have a lot of weapons, and we have two girls that we go to. They are the best team we have played.”

Frazier (11-6) was no match in the first set, as the Raiders countered the Commodores’ big swings with some big blocks at the net. Waynesburg raced out to a 4-0 lead and never trailed. An ace by Morgan Stephenson gave the Raiders a 12-5 lead before Riley Bowers also served an ace to extend the Waynesburg lead to 15-10.

Jensyn Hartman was able to land a kill to pull the Commodores to within 20-12, but Emma Robinson countered with a cross-court kill for Waynesburg to help complete the first-set win.

The second set started well for the Commodores, as Frazier was able to gain an early lead when Kaeyln Shaporka was able to smack a kill for a 10-9 Frazier edge.

But Frazier couldn’t gain separation, and eventually, some unforced errors crept into the game for the Commodores. Waynesburg also made plays on defense as Sarah Stephenson came up with a huge block to give the Raiders a 16-12 lead.

From there, the Commodores couldn’t recover, and Waynesburg was able to claim a two-set advantage.

The third set was another tight one early, as Alexis Lovis buried a kill for a 6-4 Frazier lead. But Waynesburg again stayed right with the Commodores and eventually jumped out to a comfortable lead.

A kill by Sarah Stephenson pushed Waynesburg to a 15-8 lead. Jordin Brundege knocked down an ace to pull the Commodores to within 16-11, but the Raiders finished the sweep in style as Emma Robinson slammed down a kill to close it out.

“We played not to lose,” Mandy Hartman said, noting that she sensed a different mindset with her team compared to when the Commodores knocked off fourth-seeded Deer Lakes in the first round last week.

Jensyn Hartman paced the Commodores with 17 kills, and Shaporka added five kills. Brundege recorded 13 digs and 10 service points, while Lovis tallied 13 assists.

Robinson led Waynesburg with 12 kills, and Sarah Stephenson followed with 10 kills. Cayla Rush finished with 26 assists, and Bowers added three aces.

For the Raiders, the key to victory was on defense.

“I give the most credit to my defense,” Waynesburg coach Dan Higinbotham said. “Jensyn Hartman is a really good hitter, but we blocked well.”

Upon looking at his team’s stats, Higinbotham concluded that there weren’t many holes in his team’s game.

“We played a pretty good game tonight,” Higinbotham said.

Waynesburg now gets ready to play top-seeded North Catholic on Wednesday.

For Frazier, the season ends for a team that is up and coming and improved throughout the year.

“We were the 13th-seeded team, so we probably weren’t expected to get this far,” Mandy Hartman said. “It’s a credit to their hard work throughout the season.”

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