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Sports

Yough volleyball team stops Southmoreland

| Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

It took nearly the entire season, but in the past couple of the week, the Southmoreland volleyball team has shown signs of improvement.

The Scotties turned in a competitive effort Tuesday but still lost, 3-0, to visiting Yough. The playoff-bound Cougars beat Southmoreland, 25-18, 25-21, 25-15, in Section 4-A.

"We've played really well in the last couple of matches," Southmoreland coach Sam Coffman said. "They've shown a lot of improvement. It was nice to have a couple of leads, but we've been a little short."

Southmoreland (1-19, 0-10) fell behind early in the first set, as Liz Mitchell staked Yough (6-6, 6-4) to a 6-0 lead from the service line. Yough eventually built a 17-6 advantage on a push shot to an open corner by Gina Moore.

However, Southmoreland rallied, as Buffy Datz and Katie Siwula each connected for a kill to pull the Scotties to within 24-17. But Yough held on to score the first-set win.

In the second set, Southmoreland built an early lead. A kill by Nicole Pizzola and a block by Erika Jurkowski helped the Scotties grab an 8-4 advantage.

Southmoreland eventually led, 16-12, but couldn't hold on, as Cassie Bowman tipped in a shot to tie the set 16-16. The teams went back and forth for several points, but Bowman connected on an ace to give Yough a 20-19 lead, and it went on to take the set.

And the second set likely changed the course of the match.

"I think Southmoreland played great, but when they raised their level of play, we did what we had to do," Yough coach Frank German said. "We came back and won that second game, and that was key."

Southmoreland started off the third set with a lead, but it didn't take long for Yough to come back. A run through the middle of the set lifted Yough to a big lead, and it eventually completed the sweep.

Kasey Lynn led Yough with 11 kills, and Cassie Gilkey added six kills. Anna Sweeney and Mitchell each had three aces.

Yough closes its regular season with a home match against Brownsville tonight.

Siwula led Southmoreland with a game-high 12 kills.

Siwula, Jurkowski, Pizzola and Ashley Rock were honored on senior night, and Coffman recognized their dedication to the program.

"They started to really click, and I think they were getting the essence of the game in the last three matches," Coffman said. "I'd like to have them back next year if I could."

Southmoreland will end its season Thursday with a non-section match at Steel Valley.

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