PHILIPSBURG — One day after making school history by winning their first district playoff game, the Penns Valley volleyball team faced an even stiffer challenge — traveling to top-seeded Philipsburg-Osceola.
The Lady Rams and the Lady Mounties produced some nice rallies and volleys, but in the end P-O was just too strong, sweeping Penns Valley, 25-12, 25-13, 25-11 Tuesday.
“We knew coming in that Penns Valley is a team that plays solid defense,” said Philipburg-Osceola head coach Dave Eckberg. “I told the girls to not expect the point to be over in the first big swing. And, they showed that. They blocked us a few times.
“To our credit, we are pretty resilient and we kept going. Eventually, we were able to get around that.”
The Lady Mounties got big games from their middle hitters as Kyle Scovern and Abby Showers both tallied double-digit kills. Scovern finished the night with 11, while Showers had 10.
“It’s so important for our middles to be able to contribute,” Eckberg said. “And, they did tonight from the first few points.”
P-O’s Marlee Chutko also added six kills on the night.
For Penns Valley, the Lady Rams got five kills from Kayla Bracken and three each from Chelsea Emel and Lindsay Dix.
“I think P-O played really well tonight,” said Penns Valley head coach Sei Hee Hwang. “They did not let any balls drop. Our girls played well too. They played their hearts out. You can’t ask for anything more. It was 100 percent effort.
“I was very proud of their rallies back and forth and not giving up every point. Even on game point, they never gave up, so that’s all I can ask for.”
The Lady Mounties took control of the first set, thanks to a 10-point serving run from McKenzie Burge. Burge finished the evening with a game-high 20 service points.
Showers added nine service points, while Scovern, Emily Bush-Clark and Liz Robertson each had six.
“Emily’s serving was solid tonight,” Eckberg said. “That’s something that’s been a little up and down. We play so much better when she serves better. I don’t think she missed any tonight.”
P-O took the first set 25-12.
The second set saw both teams just one server shy of making it through their rotations twice.
There were several long rallies with both teams coming up with some big blocks.
The Lady Mounties front row was able to overcome most of the sideouts that fell the Lady Rams’ way, however, and took the 25-13 victory.
“The girls played exceptionally well tonight in all facets of the game,” Eckberg said. “We served well, passed well, played good defense. There is a whole lot I would look at and say negative. I think we played a pretty nice well-rounded game.”
Robertson finished the night with eight digs, while Showers added six. Burge led all players with 31 assists.
Emel led the Lady Rams with six service points.
Penns Valley finished the season at 12-8.
“These girls made history when they won the first district match in school history,” Hwang said. “I’m really proud of them. That’s all I can ask for.
“We have seven seniors, so we have a big chunk of girls graduating. I wish them well.”
Philipsburg-Osceola improved to 28-5 overall. The Lady Mounties host Huntingdon, a five-set winner over Ligonier Valley, in Thursday night’s semifinals.