Mars knocks off defending champion Hopewell in WPIAL volleyball finals
Mars dethroned the WPIAL's defending girls volleyball champion, and the No. 3 seed Planets made the feat look fairly easy.
With a 3-0 win over No. 1 Hopewell (16-3), Mars claimed its first Class AA title Saturday at Chartiers Valley. The Planets (17-3) prevailed by scores of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-17, and they trailed by two points — their largest deficit — just once in the match.
Hopewell entered the match as the top Class AA team in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association rankings.
“We knew we could overpower them because we have so many talented players at so many positions,” Mars coach Dan Mountain said. “We just had to let everyone get their swings.”
Abby Matusik led the Planets with 16 kills. Emily King added 10 kills, and Jaden Zimmer had 12, including Mars' final three points in the match.
Zimmer described the victory as sweet redemption for the Planets, who lost to Hopewell in the finals of the MAC tournament during the regular season.
“We were coming back for revenge,” Zimmer said. “We were also keeping our heads up and staying positive.”
MacKenzie Biggs and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each had eight kills for Hopewell, which had its best opportunity to build momentum in Game 1, when the teams were tied at 22.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.