Freeport volleyball team blanks Ford City, 3-0
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Freeport girls volleyball is used to being at the top. Ford City's team is working to get there.
The Yellowjackets posted a 3-0 nonsection win over the visiting Sabers in the season opener for both teams Tuesday, but both Freeport and Ford City were able to take something from the year's first match.
Sophomore Zoe Pawlak led all players with 13 kills in the match, and returning all-WPIAL senior Alexis Schrecengost added eight for Freeport (1-0), which won, 25-16, 25-21 and 25-9.
Ford City was led by Justyne Lasher with eight kills and Sarah Heddinger with seven.
The match was a good starting point for the Yellowjackets, who will be trying to win a ninth straight section title this season after sharing last year's Section 4-AA crown with Mars.
“In our mind, expectations are pretty high. We have a lot of returning experience and a lot of good athletes, but I told them from the beginning, we can't be paper champions,” Freeport coach Tom Phillips said.
“Our girls stepped up and played pretty well tonight. Ford City is strong on the outside, and I did know that coming in. They're young, too, and that's one of the reasons we wanted to play them, even though they're not in our section anymore.”
The Sabers are striving to improve after finishing fourth with a 3-7 mark in Section 3-AA last year.
Ford City showed some good signs in its first match for new coach Andrea Lasher. The Sabers were especially strong in the second game, when they opened up a five-point lead before Freeport pulled ahead, 16-15, and finished out the game.
“Playing Freeport is a great way to start the year. We get to see where we are and where we need to be,” Lasher said. “All of the girls and I took this as a good learning lesson. We saw little mistakes we're making and can work on fixing them.”
Freeport came out strong in the final game to wrap up the match.
Pawlak and Schrecengost had early kills, and a kill and an ace by senior Megan Sweeny helped establish an 8-3 lead. Ford City never regained momentum, and the Yellowjackets closed the match by winning 13 of the final 16 points.
Phillips was able to use nearly all of his bench during the final game, though he also made sure his starters got plenty of court time.
“Any time you have a match with long rallies like that, it's a good thing for both teams,” Phillips said. “We're still in a learning phase. Our libero, Brittney (Bianco), was our setter last year. She's still learning that position, and we have other girls learning their positions.
“We have a great younger class that is very hungry and pushes these kids every day in practice. When practices are that way, it's so good for the older kids to be pushed, day in and day out,” Phillips said.
Though the Sabers began the year with a loss, the match was hardly a negative. Ford City's coaches were pleased to turn in some competitive games with a team accustomed to deep playoff runs, and Lasher said that was a product of the team putting in additional work before official practices began.
“Quite a few of the girls put in a lot of work over the summer, and we've come a long way. I think we'll surprise some people this year,” Lasher said.
“I think what they're doing well is working as a team and not as individuals. That's the biggest point I've tried to push to them: If you work as a team, you win as a team.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baldwin netters land WPIAL accolades
- Thomas Jefferson girls’ volleyball team flourishing
- 3 Gateway volleyball players nab all-section honors