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Volleyball

West Shamokin girls volleyball completes memorable season

| Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, 11:30 p.m.

The West Shamokin girls volleyball team accomplished plenty this season, but on Saturday the Wolves ran into a Fort LeBoeuf team that has been a volleyball juggernaut for the past five years.

Fort LeBoeuf, the District 10 champion, swept West Shamokin, 3-0, in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals at Slippery Rock. The Bison advanced to the state semifinals for the fourth straight season and have made the state championship the last three years. They won the PIAA title in 2012.

The Bison (27-3) used strong serves and sound defense in the victory.

“I constantly talk to the girls about the serve and serve receive part of the game because it sets the tone for everything else,” Fort LeBoeuf coach LeAnn Johnson said.

“We had played West Shamokin a lot over the summer, so we kind of knew what we were going to see. And I think our preparation helped us.”

Though Saturday's result didn't go in West Shamokin's favor, their season was successful and memorable. The Wolves went undefeated in Section 3-AA play and didn't surrender a set in the regular season or first three rounds of the playoffs.

West Shamokin, which ended the season 14-2, also hit a couple of milestones in 2015. The Wolves qualified for the WPIAL championship for the first time in Class AA after spending numerous years in Class A.

After finishing runner-up to Freeport in the WPIAL championship game, West Shamokin won its first state playoff match in Class AA, 3-0, against Bradford last Tuesday.

“We played volleyball for a long time this year and these girls have nothing to be ashamed of,” West Shamokin coach Dan Spencer said. “We were one of only eight teams in the state still playing volleyball in our classification until (Saturday).”

Fort LeBeouf had a 7-0 run and a pair of 5-0 runs to cruise to a 25-11 win in the first set. After the first set, West Shamokin battled the Bison in the second set but fell 25-20.

Jasah Huth, a junior middle hitter had four kills and three blocks for West Shamokin, and fellow junior Katie Glover added six kills. Kaley Fucci led the Bison with seven kills and three aces.

“I thought Jasah Huth had a really great match, and Stephanie Schrecengost was pretty tough at libero,” Spencer said.

“After the first set we settled down and got our feet under us, but anytime we made a mistake or had a chink in the armor they found it.”

West Shamokin held a 14-13 lead in the third set, but a 5-0 run put Fort LeBoeuf up for good. The Bison won the final set 25-19.

“(Fort LeBoeuf) doesn't make too many mistakes, and they make you earn every point,” Spencer said. “I thought we recovered, but they could finish really strong.

“It doesn't take anything away from what we did, they just did it one better.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

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