WPIAL Edges Ohio in Girls Volleyball All-Star Event

Monday, November 28, 2011 | 3:31 PM

Just like it was in the inaugural Interstate Girls Volleyball All-Star Match in 2010 between these two superbly talented squads, Sunday afternoons match would require the dramatic "short game" to decide the winner at Girard High School.

Last year the Ohio All-Stars rallied from the brink of elimination after trailing 2 sets to none to win the match 3-2. Again this year the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars took the lead with a 25-23 victory in the first set. Trailing 5-4 in the initial set, Western Pennsylvania ran off (6) consecutive points to go ahead,10-5, and would never relinquish the lead in going up 1-0. Cate Seman (Seneca Valley) led the District 7 team with (4) terminations and Caitlyn Scioscia (Pine-Richland) and Megan Manack (Frazier) each contributed (2) kills. Nicole Moorman (Moon) led the way defensively with (3) blocks. The Ohio District 1 All-Stars were paced in the first set by Kelly Kiger (East Liverpool) and Alyson Yajko (Beaver Local) with (3) putdowns. Kiger and Bryanna Jay (Girard) showed the way defensively with a pair of blocks.

In game two Ohio broke a 3-3 tie and maintained their advantage until Western Pennsylvania came back to even the set at 19-19.

The All-Stars from the "buckeye" state outscored the All-Stars from the "keystone" state 6-4 the rest of the way to take the second set 25-23 and even the match at 1 set each. Western Pennsylvania's attack was led by Jaclyn Placha (West Allegheny), Catherine Waters (Elizabeth-Forward) and Rachel Kline (Central Valley) with (2) terminations. Nicole Moorman again led the Western Pennsylvania defense with (3) blocks and Cate Seman and Catherine Waters put up (2). Ohio was again led in kills by Kelly Kiger and Alyson Yajko with (2).

With the match even at one set apiece the contest moved to the all-important game three. The Western Pennsylvania All-Stars wasted little time in taking control of this game. They raced out to leads of 5-1, 12-2, 14-3 and 18-5 before winning the set 25-10 and going ahead 2 sets to 1. Cate Seman continued to "spark" the Western Pennsylvania attack with (3) kills and Caitlyn Scioscia added (2) putdowns. Nicole Moorman (middle hitter) remained a defensive stalwart by once again paving the way with (2) blocks and Hanna Muzzonigro (Pine-Richland) also registered a pair of rejects. Kelly Kiger consistently was a "terminating machine" for the Ohio District 1 All-Stars with (4) kills and Morgan Walters (Girard) added (2) terminations.

Facing elimination as the match headed to game four, the Ohio District 1 All-Stars demonstrated that their team had plenty of resolve.
They took a 3-2 lead on the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars and would not trail again in this set as they pushed out in front with leads of 10-6 and 14-8 before the District 7 All-Stars moved to within three points at 17-14. Ohio closed out game four by outscoring Western Pennsylvania 8-6 to win 25-20 and even this event at 2 sets each. The main reason the Ohio District 1 All-Stars were able to win this set was because of the dominating play of Kelly Kiger. The East Liverpool Potters standout middle hitter banged down (6) terminations.
Nicole Moorman who was a "terror" all match on defense paced the Western Pennsylvania offense with (3) kills and Catherine Waters had (2) blocks.

The drama and intensity in the Girard High School gymnasium could be cut with a knife as the "short game" would decide whether the all-time series between these two neighboring states in the 2011 edition of the "Border Wars" would either be even with one win for each side or if the Ohio District 1 All-Stars would take a 2 nothing lead in the series. The Ohio All-Stars came out hot early in this game and went ahead 5-1 and 6-2. However, the Western Pennsylvania District 7 All-Stars showed that they had the heart of a champion and fought their way back with a run of (6) straight points to go ahead 8-6. Western Pennsylvania led 10-7 but Ohio rallied to even the game at 10-10. Ohio went up 12-11 but Pennsylvania came right back to take a 13-12 advantage. Ohio evened the game at 13-all but Pennsylvania took the final two points and won the set, 15-13. For fans of high school girls volleyball in these two states this match was the place to be! The all-time series is indeed even with each side having won once in five thrilling games as the event will move back to Western Pennsylvania in 2012.

The two coaches of the Western Pennsylvania All-Star team Sara D'Angelo (Fox Chapel) and Greg Spridek (Bentworth) selected the Ohio District 1 All-Stars "Most Outstanding Performer" and picked Kelly Kiger. Kiger led all players in the match with (17) kills and added (3) blocks. Kelly has accepted a scholarship to Cleveland State University for next fall to play for Vikings head coach Chuck Voss. The Ohio District 1 coaches Ronie Haurin (Canfield) and Sarah Lowe (Beaver Local) selected the Western Pennsylvania District 7 All-Stars "Most Outstanding Performer" and it was a difficult choice and they chose Rachel Kline the talented middle hitter from Central Valley High School. Rachel recorded (6) kills and (1) block and was poised behind the service line when the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars rang up (5) consecutive service points in the deciding game five. Rachel has signed a letter of intent to play for Canisius College (Buffalo, NY) for next fall. Cate Seman (middle hitter) played a brilliant all-around match for the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars as she finished with (7) kills and (3) blocks to go along with a tremendous defensive game and was a stabilizing influence in the front row for the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars throughout the entire match. Cate has signed with the University of Rhode Island for next year. Caitlyn Scioscia (outside hitter) ended the match with (8) terminations and (1) block for the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars. Caitlyn has signed with Furman University for next season.

Western Pennsylvania District 7 All-Stars 3 – Ohio District 1 All-Stars 2
(25-23, 23-25, 25-10, 20-25 and 15-13)

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