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Quaker Valley volleyball caps season in WPIAL playoffs

| Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Members of the Quaker Valley girls volleyball team take part in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game against Ellwood City on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
Members of the Quaker Valley girls volleyball team take part in a WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round game against Ellwood City on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.

The Quaker Valley girls volleyball team gave its all, but it was not enough in the WPIAL Class AA tournament.

The Quakers lost to Serra Catholic, 3-1, in the first round Oct. 26.

“I thought we played our second-best match of the year,” Quakers coach Mike Vavrek said, adding the best came in a Section 2-AA shutout of Hopewell on Oct. 17. “(Making the playoffs) was something that, at the end of the year, we really had to work for.”

The Quakers (7-11 overall) placed fourth in the section with a 5-7 record and blanked Ellwood City in a play-in contest Oct. 24.

“We played our hearts out,” senior libero Sida Wilson said. “We beat Serra in the first set, and it was the most intensity I've seen from us all year.”

“I think if we finish Game 2, there may (have been) a different result,” Vavrek said.

Vavrek said it was tough taking on the Eagles, the Section 4-AA co-champion, on their home court.

The Quakers were happy to be back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. They were eliminated early from 2012-15.

“I had set goals for this team, and they were not about wins and losses,” Vavrek said. “For the most part, we stayed healthy.

“I think we improved every day. I thought the last three weeks of the season we really played pretty good volleyball.”

Vavrek said the Quakers showed how far they came in the play-in match.

“Earlier in the year, I think we would have dropped a set or two to them,” he said, referring to Ellwood City, which tied for fourth place in Section 1-AA.

Wilson said the Quakers peaked just in time.

Senior outside hitter Leah Vester and senior middle hitter Nyla Stowers paced the Quakers with 19 and 18 kills, respectively, in the postseason, and junior setter Josephine Parsons had a team-high 47 assists and five aces.

Vester with 24 digs and Wilson and junior outside hitter Brooke Mauldin with 23 digs each were defensive leaders.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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