Valley Sports Report
TIOGA JUNCTION — Athens avenged its only loss of the day with a dominating performance in the finals to win the championship of the annual Williamson Volleyball Tournament here Saturday.
“The girls are showing strong team chemistry,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “The girls are playing well together and supporting each other no matter who is on the court.”
Athens opened the day in pool play with wins of 25-16 and 25-18 over Northern Potter.
“We played a great first game, it was a great start to the tourney,” said Hanson. “The girls came ready to play.
“Cassidy Stackpole started the tournament with some extremely hard aggressive serves,” she added.
Athens then beat NEB 25-18, but the Lady Panthers rebounded to win the second set 25-18.
“You could tell NEB was ready to play us., and were very motivated to beat us,” said Hanson. “This was where we learned unforced errors can be a game-changer.”
The Lady Wildcats re-grouped and finished off Coudersport by scores of 25-11 and 25-22.
“We got back on track, everyone looked great,” said Hanson. “The team confidence was growing.
“Kayleigh (Miller) and Jenny (Ryan) were working well together,” she noted. “Leah Liechty played strong and was making great decisions in the front row.”
Athens finished off pool play with a pair of hard-fought wins over Cowanesque Valley by scores of 26-24 and 27-26.
NEB and Athens both finished Pool B with 7-1 records, with NEB winning the tie-breaker. Canton won Pool A with an 8-0 record, while Galeton was second at 5-3, and Sayre was 4-4.
In Pool A, the Lady Redskins split a pair of sets with Williamson, dropping the first set 27-26, then rebounding for a 26-24 win. They also split their two-set match against Galeton, losing the first set 25-23, but winning the second 25-20.
Sayre swept South Williamsport by scores of 25-12 and 25-8, but was swept Canton by identical scores of 25-17.
Athens and Sayre squared off in a one-set quarter-final match-up and the Lady Wildcats pulled out a 25-20 decision.
“That was a great game,” said Hanson. “The Sayre-Athens matches are going to be good games to watch. Tiffany Glielmi is doing a great job with the Sayre girls.”
In the semifinals, Athens swept Canton 25-19 and 25-15 to advance to the finals.
“Kylie Jayne, our starting middle (hitter), had to leave the tournament, and sophomore Taylor Walker stepped up big time and made her presence known, transitioning quickly in the middle from offense to defense
and playing like a starter,” said Hanson.
In the finals, Athens avenged the only blemish on its record for the day with a sweep of NEB by scores of 25-13 and 25-10.
“I was glad to get a chance to redeem ourselves and play like we know we can,” said Hanson. “Both teams were definitely tired. NEB showed a lot of heart.
“In the first set of the match, starter Jenny Ryan hurt her knee,” noted Hanson. “Junior Gracie Witherow stepped in as (right-side hitter) and did a fantastic job finishing the first set and playing strong to help win the game. I was so impressed with Gracie.
“Our parents were supportive and cheered the team on all day long,” added Hanson. “Right now, I am one spoiled coach.”
Athens returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Wyalusing.
IN PHOTO: The 2019 Athens Lady Wildcats volleyball team. … PHOTO PROVIDED.
Print Friendly Version