Leechburg dispatches Brentwood in preliminary round
Leechburg was one of the last teams in the WPIAL volleyball playoffs, but the Blue Devils will be sticking around for a second match.
Kassidi Horrell had a match-high 11 kills and three aces, and Natalie Geminetti added seven kills to lead Leechburg to a 3-0 win over Brentwood in a Class A preliminary round match Tuesday at Fox Chapel.
Marissa George had a balanced game with five kills, four blocks and three aces, and Tessa Verner added four aces for Leechburg, which won by set scores of 25-21, 25-7 and 25-21. The Blue Devils (7-7) advance to face No. 3 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in a first-round match Thursday.
“It feels great because we haven't been in the playoffs since my freshman year,” Horrell said. “We had a lot of fun on the court tonight.”
After pulling out a tight first set, Leechburg raced out to a 15-2 lead in the second set on eight service points by Verner and six by George. The Blue Devils sealed the match in the third set by scoring nine of the final 12 points to rally from an 18-16 deficit.
Even when trailing during the third set, Leechburg played a confident attacking game, which stemmed partly from facing a familiar opponent.
“When we heard that we were playing Brentwood, the girls were happy because we had played them before,” Leechburg coach Samantha Baker said. “We played them at Kiski (Area's tournament) and took two sets from them. We warned them to be ready for anything, but our girls were confident that they could win this.”
The win is only the second postseason victory for Leechburg since 2005, when the Blue Devils advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.
If this year's team is to match that feat, it will need to upset an OLSH team that is one of the favorites for the WPIAL title. But coming from a section that produced two of Class A's top six seeds — Greensburg Central Catholic and West Shamokin — the Blue Devils believe they are prepared to face another top team.
“I do feel we're prepared. We kept up with West Shamokin, so we're ready for anybody,” Horrell said. “We look at it like, ‘Who cares what the other team's record is?' If we come out and play our hardest and play our best, we'll have a chance, and hopefully we can win.”