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Sports

Frazier volleyball falls to top seed

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2002

COAL CENTER - The Frazier volleyball team pulled an upset in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs by beating Avonworth in straight sets. The Lady Commodores couldn't do the unexpected twice, though, as top-ranked Elderton turned the tables for a 3-0 victory Thursday at California High School.

The Lady Bobcats earned the win in sets of 15-8, 15-5, and 15-7.

"I have to give my girls all the credit in the world. They played the number one team in the WPIAL. (Elderton is) expected to win it all," Frazier coach Mandy Hartman said. "My girls came in here and did their best."

The Lady Commodores came out strong, taking a 6-3 lead in the first set and making Elderton coach Dan Spencer a little nervous.

"I was a little bit apprehensive there at the beginning of the first game, but mostly, we just weren't getting the things done that we could do," he said.

Spencer said once the Lady Bobcats settled into a rhythm, they were fine.

Elderton found that rhythm fairly quickly, as Amber Boyer led the team back from its three-point deficit and served up a 7-6 edge. The Lady Bobcats built the advantage to 11-6 before Jessica Stahl came to the line to pick up a couple of points for Frazier.

Stahl pulled the Lady Commodores to within three, but they couldn't get any closer, as Elderton's Daisy Smith ended the first set with four service points.

Frazier had first serve in the second set, but it didn't do much good as the Lady Bobcats immediately recorded the kill. Angela Nemeth helped the team build a 5-0 lead, and Elderton never gave up the advantage, jumping out to a 13-5 lead before Daisy Smith once again served up the winning points.

In the third set, it was Lupita Smith heading to the serve line to give the Lady Bobcats the 5-0 advantage with a little help from Boyer. This time, though, the Lady Commodores were able to climb out of the hole.

Stahl served up two points for Frazier, and Katie Zebley stepped up to not only even the score, but also to hand the Lady Commodores a 6-5 edge.

Daisy Smith put Elderton back up by one, and Krista Nordby upped the lead to 11-6. Teila Nolder made it 12-6 before Vanessa Myers got another service point for the Lady Commodores.

Frazier couldn't muster anymore offense, though, as Lupita Smith served the final three points to wrap up the Lad Bobcats' win.

Spencer said he couldn't attribute the victory to any one part of the game, and he added that the Lady Commodores were prepared to battle.

"Frazier plays against good teams," he said, listing Jefferson-Morgan and Geibel as examples. "They came to play, and they have some good kids."

Hartman said for a team with just two seniors in Stahl and Myers, "I think we accomplished quite a bit. Elderton's a fabulous team. Their center just dominates."

Hartman said the second-round exit is another in a series of disappointments this season.

"Our youth has shown at times, especially during our big matches," she said. "It seems like we're always a step behind."

Hartman said the year of experience has been good for her young players.

"They're ready now to take that next step and start coming through," she said.

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