Freeport volleyball advances with win over Quaker Valley
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Freeport's big hitters have the Yellowjackets moving to the quarterfinals.
Alexis Schrecengost and Zoe Pawlak both had nine kills to send No. 2 Freeport to a win over No. 15 Quaker Valley, 3-0, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA girls volleyball playoffs Thursday at Freeport.
Jessica Kelley added seven kills and five blocks for Freeport (15-1), which advances to face No. 7 Central Valley on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The Yellowjackets won by set scores of 25-18, 25-11, 25-17.
Alyssa Bartling had eight kills to lead Quaker Valley (11-5), which was coming off a five-set preliminary round win over Derry two days ago.
Though the Yellowjackets boasted a clear size advantage at the net, the Quakers managed to hang in the match by prolonging points with good defense and back row play.
“They played very good defense tonight, and we knew they would do that coming in,” Freeport coach Tom Phillips said. “I think we were pretty aggressive tonight, too, but they brought that good defense. We did well because it's playoff time, and anything can happen.”
Quaker Valley's defense kept the match close in the opening set, and the visiting team stayed within two all the way to 16-14. As Freeport began to pull away, QV coach Mike Vavrek took advantage of his timeouts and made some late substitutions to disrupt the flow of Freeport's servers.
“Whatever I could do to slow the game up, I did. I wanted to give our girls their best opportunity to win,” Vavrek said. “(Freeport) is a very good team, and I thought we did a great job competing with them. We definitely lack the weapons they have, but I'm proud of my girls for not giving up.”
Freeport's serving began to take its toll in the second game, as Grace Ward strung together seven straight service points, including an ace, to put the Yellojackets ahead, 8-2. Emily Toy had a pair of aces of her own while serving up seven points for Freeport, which began to find more holes in the defense.
“The first game, we were playing well, but so were they,” Phillips said. “I think in the second game we changed things up a bit, and we did some things to take advantage of our matchups. Winning the second game the way we did was big for us.”
The Quakers still battled in the third set and took a 7-4 lead on a pair of kills and an ace from Jade Kost, who finished with six kills. Freeport answered by looking to the middle, where Kelley recorded three of her kills to put her team back in front for good.
“I'm happy with our performance tonight. It was good, sound Freeport volleyball,” Phillips said. “We like the challenge we got, and Quaker Valley came in to compete with us. We just had to exploit our matchups where we could be strong swinging from the outside.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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