Frazier volleyball team keeps rolling
The Frazier volleyball team has reached new heights.
On Thursday night, the Commodores knocked off Bentworth, 3-0, to clinch their first trip to the WPIAL Class A title game.
The top-seeded Commodores beat the Bearcats, 25-22, 25-17, 25-17, at Franklin Regional and will play second-seeded Bishop Canevin for the championship at 2 p.m. Saturday at the same site.
To earn their spot in the final, the Commodores had to overcome a strong defensive team.
"Bentworth will make anybody look bad, because they don't let the ball hit the floor," Frazier coach Mandy Hartman said. "But the thing I thought we did well was, we were aggressive at the net."
Despite the loss, the Bearcats earn a trip to the PIAA tournament if they defeat Elderton in the consolation final at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Commodores are guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, to be held Nov. 13-14 at Central York High School.
Frazier received strong net play from Gena Keebler (eight kills), Amanda Pato (eight kills, 15 assists) and Megan Manack (nine kills). Setting up many of those kills was Giovanna Bitonti, who finished with 20 assists. McKenzie Barch was strong defensively, posting a team-high 15 digs.
Frazier's ability to hit some big shots at the net was important, especially since Bentworth held leads in every set.
"This team doesn't get rattled," Hartman said. "They always have the ability to kick it in gear when they need to. They asked me at practice the other day if I was nervous, and I told them I have all the confidence in the world in them."
Bentworth led early in the first set, but the Commodores eventually took control thanks to an ace by Keebler and a combination block by Pato and Savannah Prue. The Commodores turned up their attack in the second set, when Manack, Pato, Keebler and Laurissa Ellis connected for kills.
"Defensively, we did play well," Bentworth coach Greg Spridik said. "They were just too big for us."
Bentworth put on an attack of its own in the third set, as Darcy Bostich (six kills) hammered in three shots to give the Bearcats a 12-9 edge. However, the Bearcats made some mistakes, and four straight missed shots sparked an 8-0 Frazier run. Bitonti closed the match in style with a service ace.
Bentworth's Jessica Dorazio (20 digs, 10 kills) and Rachel Spridik (12 digs, 11 assists) had strong games, but it wasn't enough for the Bearcats.
"We didn't pass well," Greg Spridik said. "And we had a rough time with Prue, Pato and just about all of them."