Freeport girls volleyball makes return to semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After a one-year absence, the Freeport girls volleyball team is back in the semifinals.
After a slow start Tuesday, Freeport won three straight games to emerge with a 3-1 victory over Central Valley in Class AA quarterfinal action at Fox Chapel High School.
The Yellowjackets, in the semifinal round for the fifth time in the last six seasons, will play Knoch Thursday at 6 p.m. at North Hills.
Freeport's record is 16-1, while the Warriors concluded their season 12-4.
The victory also clinched a Yellowjackets berth in the PIAA playoffs, which begin next Tuesday.
Sophomore Zoe Pawlak led the way with nine aces, 15 kills and 20 service points.
In Game 4, Freeport broke an 18-18 tie with a point, and Pawlak reeled off six consecutive service points to bring home the victory.
Central Valley, in its fourth year of existence, won the first game 25-12 and led the second game 4-0 before Freeport mounted a comeback and took control of the match.
“We were absolutely bushwhacked that first game,” Freeport coach Tom Phillips said. “We talked about getting back and playing our game and changing things around a little bit at a time. We started to play defense and get a little more aggressive at the service line.”
A kill and four consecutive service points by Pawlak helped turn around Freeport's fortunes in Game 2.
“I think that helped the whole team get the momentum we needed to win,” Pawlak said.
The Yellowjackets built a 10-point lead in Game 2 as Morgan Ruppersberger provided strong play at the net. Pawlak's kill secured a 25-15 victory and set up a strong Freeport surge in the fourth and decisive game.
The Yellowjackets pulled ahead, 17-11, but the Warriors rallied to forge the 18-18 stalemate.
“If we could have held Zoe from serving, it could have been a different picture,” Central Valley coach Dennis Damp said.
“I was trying to be consistent with my serves and at the same time be powerful,” Pawlak said.
Senior and college prospect Seairra Barrett had a superb evening and was particularly dominating in the first game.
“Our girls worked very hard, we were a big underdog coming into this one,” Damp said. “Freeport's been here year after year, we're kind of the new kids on the block. We came out and hit the spots we needed to hit, but not enough.”
The victory also meant Freeport could finally put away the sour memory of last year's upset loss to Ambridge in the quarterfinals.
“Sometimes that did haunt us and we did talk a lot about it,” Phillips said. “Obviously, when you get to the playoffs, there's no wooden nickels. Everybody's going to come and give you their best game.”
Alexis Schrecengost contributed seven kills and 24 service points.
George Guido 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.
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Wagner shocks Robert Morris women’s basketball team at Sewall Center, 66-60
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Gorman: McConnells owned ‘The Pete’
- Wolf to outline charter school plan in budget address
- Rice says U.S. has Israel’s back, won’t accept nuclear-armed Iran
- Spring teams making most of indoor practices until weather breaks
- ‘Let It Snow’s’ big-name cast filming all over Western Pennsylvania
- HS highlight reel: PIAA spring sports season underway
- Clinton portrait refers to Lewinsky scandal, Philadelphia artist says
- Rangers up ante in Metropolitan Division with trade acquisitions