Knoch hopes win is springboard for success
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In search of a season-defining win, the Knoch girls volleyball team visited Freeport on Oct. 3. Determined not to let a 3-0 loss to Freeport earlier in the year linger in their minds, the Lady Knights seized the moment and captured a 3-2 victory over previously undefeated Freeport, a perennial power in WPIAL Class AA.
The emotional win kept Knoch in the hunt for a Section 4-AA title and will provide motivation for the upcoming WPIAL playoffs.
“Freeport, you have to give them credit,” Knoch coach Diane Geist said. “They're not an easy team to beat. We've come close to beating them at tournaments. It was a huge win for us, a big psychological win.”
Knoch is anchored by Eastern Kentucky recruit Celina Sanks, a senior outside hitter. Racking up an abundance of kills, Sanks played every bit like a future Division I player against Freeport.
Geist describes Sanks as an intelligent team leader, and Knoch's best all-around player in every aspect of the game.
“She can see the open spots on the court when she hits,” Geist said. “She has command of her serves. She can play multiple positions. She's so athletic and she sees the play before it happens.”
Sanks recalled the first match with Freeport, describing Knoch as nervous and tense. The second time around however, was a complete turnaround.
“We went in and had nothing to lose,” Sanks said. “I remember during warm-ups, and turning to my other middle hitter and saying I feel really good about this. We weren't anxious. We were ready to play all out.”
Every team has its own individual goals, along with the coach's goals. According to Sanks, the team has met two out of three team goals: beat Freeport and beat Mars. All that's left is winning the Section 4-AA title.
The two teams went into the final days of section play tied for the top spot.
With Sanks and company, Knoch could be poised for a lengthy postseason run.
“We need to play the way we played against Freeport,” Geist said about playing in the playoffs. “The girls have to be really fired up and motivated. They were really motivated to win that game. We have to prepare properly to.”
Joining Sanks as key contributors are senior middle hitter Mary Zelhart, senior outside hitter Schaely Renfrew and junior setter Katie Bozzo, who Geist describes as a behind-the-scenes contributor.
“I think she would go unnoticed because when you have a good setter they're getting the ball where they need to,” Geist said. “I think the setting part goes unnoticed because when your sets aren't there you notice, but when they are there you don't think about.”
Knoch finished third in section play last year.
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.
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.
- Brentwood volleyballs looks back on season
- Seton-La Salle netters receive postseason accolades
- Baldwin girls volleyball team captures WPIAL Class AAA championship