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Peters Township survives Connellsville run

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 9:58 p.m.
Connellsville's Saiah Mickens (23) and Katie Bailey (7) attempt to block a shot by Peters Township's Shiloh Simonson (13) during Thursday's match. Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier

The Connellsville girls volleyball team is fighting hard to be one of the three Section 2-AAA teams to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs. Peters Township, on the other hand, has no such worry.

The Indians have clinched the section crown and continued their strong season with a three-set win over the host Falcons on Thursday, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20.

The Indians (8-2, 8-1) were extremely tough at the net and finished many of their offensive sets on the way to the win. But the victory wasn't easy as Connellsville battled point-for-point with Peters Township through the early parts of the first two sets. In each of the first two sets, Peters Township held a slim 14-13 edge before going on runs that ultimately led to the victory.

“We try to thrive off the energy in close games,” Peters Township coach Ashley Green said. “We try to be active, and we played as a team.”

Shiloh Simonson and Lauren Belack were strong players up front. Simonson finished with 11 kills, and Belack added six kills and two blocks. Kelly Johnson came through with 33 assists.

For the Falcons (5-6, 4-4), an inability to close either one of the early sets after playing on even terms with the Indians was a tough blow.

“We just didn't finish very well,” Connellsville coach Stacey Domer said with her team now in fourth place in the section. “We didn't give up, and we kept fighting, and some of our subs did a great job.”

Maria Merendino led the Falcons with 10 kills. Allie Means had 22 digs, and Emily Means connected for 13 assists.

In the first set, Connellsville's Saiah Mickens blasted a shot to the court as the Falcons pulled to within a point, 14-13. But the Indians came right back with a string of points that concluded with a kill from Simonson.

In the second set, Merendino squared up a shot and drove it for a kill as the Falcons tied it, 13-13. Again, Peters Township responded with another run of points that led to a 24-20 lead. Connellsville rallied with three straight points, but the Warriors were able to win the last point to close it.

The third set was all Peters Township early, and despite another late Connellsville rally, the Indians were able complete the three-set sweep.

For Connellsville, section meets against Trinity, Ringgold, Canon-McMillan and Albert Gallatin remain.

And for the Falcons to make the postseason, they'll have to do something they weren't able to do against the Indians.

“We still have a great chance of making the playoffs,” Domer said. “We just have to be able to finish.”

Connellsville is scheduled to play in the Elizabeth Forward Tournament on Saturday.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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