Despite move to tougher section, Fox Chapel girls volleyball team dominating
The Fox Chapel volleyball team was moved to Section 3-AAA this season.
Some folks felt that the move would be a drastic change for Coach Sara D'Angelo and her team as the section features some of the best teams in the WPIAL.
And, yes, the Foxes were slow coming out of the gate.
But recently the team has shown that it doesn't matter what section it's in — it can compete.
The Foxes ran their winning streak to nine on Oct. 9 as they stunned a North Allegheny team that was ranked 10th in the state by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.
The Foxes, who were 1-3 at one point, now stand at 10-3 and 7-3 in the section.
The win over NA didn't come easy.
The Foxes won the first game, 25-23, but took their lumps in the second to the tune of 15-25.
If the Tigers figured that they took the Foxes lightly in the first game and were on their way to a win, they were mistaken.
Fox Chapel held up under the pressure and took the third game, 25-23.
Riley Herrmann led the Foxes with 18 kills, Megan Hollingsworth pitched in with eight kills and 12 digs. Michaela Patsko had eight kills and Sarah Bradley added seven.
Marcy Meinert had 19 digs and Allyson Hess added 29 assists.
In a non-section match-up on Oct. 10, the Foxes beat Franklin Regional, 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-17).
Bradley led the way with 10 kills followed by Hollingsworth with eight, Carly Slovenec with three and two each for Herrmann, Patsko and Ana Spangenberg.
Defensively, Betsy Slagel had 13 digs followed by Marcy Meinert with seven, Hannah Zonker with six, Patsko with four and Bradley with three.
Allison Hess and Zoe Niman each had nine assists and Isabel Acevedo had eight.
The Foxes returned to Section 3-AAA play on Oct. 11 and stretched the winning streak to 11 in a row with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-6, 25-14) senior night win over Hampton.
Hess, Bradley, Meinert, Slovenec and Herrmann are the seniors on the team.
Bradley again led the offense with 11 kills. Herr-mann and Patsko added seven each.
Hollingsworth had nine digs, Slagel had seven with Meinert and Patsko each getting six.
Hess had 24 assists.
During the streak, Coach Sara D'Angelo's squad has posted five wins over teams that were ranked in the top-10 when they played the Foxes.
Fox Chapel is now 12-3 and 8-3 in the section.
“It's been really exciting,” Bradley said. “Knocking off North Allegheny was great. Nobody expected it.”
Bradley said moving into such a tough section was probably a blessing in disguise for the Foxes.
“There are so many strong teams, but I think that it's easier to play well when you're playing a good team,” she said.
“We realized that we were a pretty good team when we beat Seneca Valley.”
Meinert agreed with Bradley.
“In the beginning of the season, I don't think anybody expected Fox Chapel to compete in such a tough section,” she said. “Playing against such great teams has made this season a lot of fun and made our team better.
“We can't stop here though. Coach D'Angelo continues to push us everyday and, as a team, we hold each other accountable.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.