Lady Falcons fall to Lady Indians
On Tuesday, the Connellsville girls volleyball team proved that it could compete against one of the toughest teams in the WPIAL, but in the end, Peters Township was just too powerful as the visiting Lady Indians (12-0, 14-0) remained undefeated with a hard-fought 15-9, 15-11, 15-9 victory over the Lady Falcons (5-6, 9-6) in Section 2-AAA.
"We hung in there with them," Connellsville coach Rhonda Kelly said. "Our skills are there, but we have to work on our mental game. If we make a mistake, we're down for the rest of the game and we've got to be able to overcome that."
The Lady Falcons stayed with the Lady Indians through the early part of the first set, and eventually took a 6-5 lead. But Peters Township managed to rattle off six straight points to go up 11-6. Connellsville came back to cut the deficit to 11-9, but Peters Township scored the last four to earn the win.
In the second set, Connellsville fell behind early as Maggie Slovonic knocked down a couple of kills to put the visitors in front 4-1. Slovonic was a force all night as she slammed down a game-high 22 kills.
But the Lady Falcons continued to battle as they got some solid play at the net from Jamie Domer and Brooke Bryner. And eventually, Connellsville tied it at 5-5 on a service ace from Kerri Hiles. Hiles led the team with 11 service points. Later in the set, Domer was serving and the Lady Falcons scored three straight to tie it at 9-9. Heather Kelm also came through with an ace to trim the Peters Township lead to 12-11. However, the Lady Indians again came on strong late and put the match away with three late points.
In the third set, the Lady Falcons got off to a flying start as Hiles picked up four straight service points to give Connellsville a 4-0 lead. But the Lady Indians weren't shaken and continued to play steady the rest of the way. They got some big kills from Katie Fronczek and some big serves from Katy Beazley. Fronczek finished with eight kills and five aces while Beazley connected for four aces.
And once again, Slovonic stepped up with some huge kills to lead the Lady Indians to the victory. Despite the straight-set win, Peters Township coach Henry Mulholland knew that it wasn't going to be easy.
"This was a game I was concerned about," Mulholland said. "Connellsville gave us everything we could handle at our place earlier this year. They are well-coached. This was a critical game for us."
Despite the loss, Connellsville had some great efforts. Domer led the team with nine kills while Stacey Lambie followed with eight kills. Dawn Claycomb also had a big night setting up her teammates as she finished with 20 assists.
Still, the Lady Falcons now find themselves fighting desperately to get into the playoffs.
"I still think we can squeak into the playoffs," Kelly said.
The Lady Falcons did manage to win the junior varsity match by a score of 15-6, 15-11.