High School Sports

High school girls’ volleyball: Bald Eagle Area sweeps Bellefonte in district playoffs

Bald Eagle Area was able to hold off a determined Bellefonte team with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 sweep in the first round of the District 6 Class AAA girls’ volleyball

The victory propels fifth-seeded BEA into Tuesday’s quarterfinals against No. 4 seed Somerset, set for 6 p.m. at Huntingdon High School.

The first set was a total Lady Eagle domination, with a quick 25-16 win. The Lady Red Raiders led just once as they won the match’s first points, from there BEA made an offensive explosion.

The second set was much like the first with another 25-16 victory. The Lady Eagles heavily relied on sophomore libero Regan Dyke, who finished the match with 20 digs and three aces.

Bellefonte was more determined in the set and was able to keep even with BEA until late in the match, pulling as close as four points, but was unable to break the Lady Eagle defense.

A highlight of the frame came from a sequence highlighting Tylor Yarrison. The BEA senior dove to the floor to save her team and was able to get the ball back over the net, only to be stopped by a solid Bellefonte block. Not yet back off the ground from her first dive, she managed to turn herself back to face the ball to bump it to a teammate who was then able to get the point.

Bellefonte was more desperate in the third set, trading leads over the first 10 points and didn’t let up to the end. They refused to give the Lady Eagles an easy victory and all seven of the team’s seniors managed to keep the pressure and stakes high. However, it didn’t take long before BEA got its rhythm and start a rally to top Bellefonte 25-17.

A major component on all three matches were the fan sections for both schools. Both Centre County teams large followings. The Lady Eagles’ student section never failed to chant B-E-A in cadence with each of their team’s ball contacts. Bellefonte fans turned out to encourage the Lady Raiders’ first district playoff appearance since 2010.

BEA coach Larry Cambell praised Dyke for her ball control and Jessica Bressler as a consistent setter. Even with the victory, he did admit that the team did not play perfectly. The team was plagued with illness and some new girls had to fill some big shoes, the serves were not perfect, and there were moments the offense struggled, but he still has high hopes for Tuesday’s match.

Bellefonte coach Christina Diaz, praised her team for their strong efforts.

“I think it’s good experience for our girls,” Diaz said, “because they haven’t been in the playoffs since 2010 so that helps for some of our younger kids to get experience now.”