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SportsCast: Volleyball District Finals
Northern Tier League volleyball teams Canton, Cowanesque Valley, North Penn-Liberty and Wellsboro all competed for District IV championships at Williamson High School, with North Penn-Liberty and Canton won their respective classes.
Canton 3, CV 1
In the first game of the night for the Class A championship, Canton defeated CV 3 sets to one. In the first set, the Warriors cruised to an easy 25-15 victory to go up 1-0. Canton also went up 4-1 early in the second set, but CV battled back.
Down 9-6, CV rattled off 6 straight points to take a 12-9 lead. Canton would get 2 points back to trail 12-11, but CV then went back on the war path.
The Lady Indians again scored 6 straight points to go up 18-11. After a Warrior point made it 18-12, CV ran up the score to 21-12, but Canton fought back with 4 straight points to trail 21-16. After CV got up 24-18 they had trouble closing out the set. Canton scored 5 straight points to cut it to 24-23, but CV prevailed for a 25-23 win.
After an early CV point in the third set, Canton scored 5 straight points to take the lead. The Warriors increased their lead to 17-8 before CV battled back with 4 consecutive points to cut it to 17-12. Canton and CV each won 8 points down the stretch, but Canton maintained their lead and won, 25-20.
CV jumped out to an early 6-2 lead in the fourth set but Canton went on a 7-2 run to lead 9-8. Both teams were neck and neck down the stretch, with Canton leading 16-15 at one point, until the Warriors pulled off 4 points to lead 20-15. Canton then went on a 5-3 run to close out the set and the match.
Martin had 13 points for Canton and Ellie Binford had 12. Pepper and Hailey Wesneski each finished with 10 points in the match. Martin had six aces and Binford had five, while Wesneski had four aces. Proseus had a huge game at the net with 20 kills and Wesneski had seven, while Binford had six and Martin had five. Proseus and Pepper each had 12 digs and Jill Shay had 11, while Martin had 10. Binford had nine and Wesneski finished with eight. Pepper had 35 assists for the Warriors.
CV was led by Makayla Vargeson with 12 digs and 10 kills and Amaya Walker had 10 kills, 16 digs and four points. Jenna Romaneo had 16 assists, 11 digs and 11 points and Emma McClaren had four kills, four digs and five points. Nicole Hummel had a point, three kills and a block and Julia Draper had 14 digs and five points. Ashleigh Southard had four digs and two points and Karmen Short had six digs, three kills, a block and two points.
North Penn-Liberty 3, Wellsboro 2
In the Class AA match, North Penn-Liberty brought their perfect 19-0 record up against rival Wellsboro. After meeting twice during the regular season, with Liberty winning both matches a combined 6 sets to 1, Thursday’s match was one for the ages as it took five sets to decide a winner.
The first set was even early on with both teams trading the lead. After a Brooke Harvey kill tied it up at 6-6 for Liberty, the Lady Mounties never allowed the Lady Hornets to back within a point. Liberty took the set 25-17.
The second set belonged to the Lady Hornets. After trailing 11-7, Wellsboro went on a 10-4 run to take the lead at 17-15. 4 straight points by Liberty put them back on top 19-17, but a block on Harvey and another Wellsboro point tied it back up. After another tie back at 22-22, Wellsboro rattled off 3 straight points to win the set, 25-22.
With the momentum on their side the Lady Hornets jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the third set. The Lady Mounties kept fighting and chipping away to take the lead at 16-15. After a lot of back-and-forth points and with Wellsboro leading 22-20, back-to-back put backs at the net swung the momentum in Liberty’s favor. Liberty went on a 5-1 run to close out the third set, 25-23 to go back on top, 2-1 overall.
The fourth set was neck and neck as neither team led by more than a point until Wellsboro pulled out a 16-12 lead on a Caitlyn Callahan ace, forcing Liberty to call a timeout to regroup. The Lady Hornets maintained their 4 point lead and ran the score to 20-16 until a Charisma Grega kill and a block on Callahan got Liberty back to within a point at 20-19. Wellsboro regained the lead at 22-21, then closed out the set as Callahan had 2 kills in the final 3 points giving Wellsboro the win and tying it back up at 2-2.
The fifth set, however, was when Liberty displayed why they are undefeated and only dropped 3 sets the entire year before the game. Grega dominated the net during the set as she racked up 4 kills in Liberty’s 7 points to take a commanding 7-1 lead. A Callahan block got Wellsboro within 5, but Liberty went on a 5-1 run to make it 12-3. Wellsboro managed to score 2 more points to keep the game alive, but a kill by Maddison Minyo, a push by Joanne McNamara got Liberty to match point before Wellsboro was unable to return McNamara’s final serve.
Grega had two aces, 20 kills, 23 receptions, a block and 24 digs and Harvey had 13 kills, an ace, 24 receptions and 22 digs. Maddison Minyo had an ace, eight kills, six blocks and eight digs and McNamara had an ace, two kills, 26 assists and two digs. Mariah Kshir had two kills, four blocks, 18 assists and six digs and Fry had five kills, three blocks and a dig. Savanah Doney had an ace, 11 receptions and 18 digs and Haley Monks had two kills, a block, an assist and two digs.
For Wellsboro, Callahan finished with 20 kills and 7 blocks, Bri Keane had 42 assists and 10 points, and Megan Starkweather finished with 9 kills. Cheyenne Sherman had 9 digs, 9 points, 2 aces, and 8 kills; and Hannah Burnett had 15 digs.
“I thought my girls played very well. They left everything on the court,” said Wellsboro head coach Sharon Zuchowski. “We came up short in the serving game though, but they really gave me their all tonight.”
For North Penn-Liberty, they repeat as District champions.
“The girls worked hard all season,” said North Penn-Liberty head coach Holli Smith. “I feel they deserve it, they just played their hearts out and they love the game. It’s the best team I’ve actually worked with, the best all-around team. They love the game. I don’t have any issues with parents, I don’t have any issues with players. It’s just a very positive experience and I think it just brings the positivity to the court.”
While Wellsboro ends their season at 19-5, Liberty (20-0) advances back to the PIAA State tournament for the second straight year, where they will take on District II champion Holy Redeemer.
“We scrimmaged them early on and actually beat them in the scrimmage, but we I’ve watched a little bit of film and we’re going to have to work really hard to get ready for them.”
Liberty and Redeemer face off in Athens on Tuesday, November 7.