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Last updated: September 20. 2013 12:31AM - 2265 Views
TOM FOX For The Times Leader



Holy Redeemer's Alyssa Platko watches the ball drop on the North Pocono side of the net after her block for a point during Thursday's WVC girls volleyball match.
Holy Redeemer's Alyssa Platko watches the ball drop on the North Pocono side of the net after her block for a point during Thursday's WVC girls volleyball match.
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WILKES-BARRE — Her serve is like a dart heading for the bull's-eye on the board. It glides quickly through the air and descends with such force that it knocks the attacker back.
Nicole Slavoski has been working for four years on perfecting it, spending time each day on the basic fundamentals to make it effective. And the results clearly show.
The Holy Redeemer senior hitter had five aces and added a match-high 22 kills as the Royals extended their 100-plus match conference winning streak, sweeping North Pocono 3-0 in a battle of undefeated league teams.
Game scores were 25-15, 25-16 and 25-18.
“Nicole has been through so many big games since her sophomore year,” Redeemer coach Jack Kablick said. “She has been through big tournaments and state tournaments. She is just a good player.”
Slavoski, an all-state candidate, is a game-changer. Not only does she possess a hard swing from the outside, she is also a valuable asset in the back row where Evans would routinely set up a pass to her.
While Slavoski is known for her spikes, where she leads the Wyoming Valley Conference in kills, it's behind the service line where she is just as good. She scored 12 service points yesterday, spearheading several key Redeemer runs.
“I do think that I have a strong serve. My coach and teammates have been helping me out with it,” Slavoski said. “I've been working really hard on it since my freshman year. I work every day. It is definitely stronger from last year, and I think it's because I am stronger this year. It just feels a little more natural.”
One look on Kablick's face, and you could see some mild concern. And it was understandable with the Royals fresh off a three-set victory at Delaware Valley in what most considered the match of the year in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
“We prepared intensely for Delaware Valley last Thursday, and we were having long, intense practices,” he said. “We tried the same thing with North Pocono and it just didn't happen. The same intensity wasn't there. It wasn't even close. We weren't overlooking them because they have a great team with great athletes and coaches. I was concerned with the practice intensity carrying over to game intensity.”
Nine points into the first game, there was no reason for worry.
The confident Royals were ready for the challenge, jumping out to an 8-1 lead — capped off by a big block by setter Lexie Evans. And it was the same story in the final two sets. Redeemer (7-0) jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the second set, and held an 11-point (20-9) edge in the last stanza.
North Pocono (5-1) attempted to put together one late rally in the third set. Behind consecutive kills from Mallorie Deschaine, the Trojans used a 6-0 spurt to close the gap to 20-15, forcing Kablick to call a time-out.
Slavoski took over from that point, spiking three balls to the floor, and setting up Lauren Slavoski on two other points.
In a matter of seconds, the Pocono rally was done.
“For some teams, I think it may be intimidating when you play them because you know they have a winning streak of over 100 games,” Pocono setter Amanda Hall said. “I think we didn't show as much as we could have. If we happen to meet them again in playoffs, I think we could do better. Hopefully, we can come together and battle with them more.”
Crestwood 3, MMI Prep 0
Nicole Jankowski had 10 kills while sister Olivia Jankowski finished with a match-high 15 assists in the Comets' 25-8, 25-21, 26-24 sweep.
MMI's Kristen Purcell led all players with 11 kills.
Berwick 3, Hanover Area 0
Courtney Soboleski had nine aces and 17 assists to set up Berwick's 25-15, 25-20, 25-9 sweep. Alex Walton added four kills and eight service points in the victory.
Shalianna Rios had 11 digs and Cheyenne Fine had five aces for Hanover Area.
***
Holy Redeemer 3, North Pocono 0
North Pocono`15`16`18
Holy Redeemer`25`25`25
NP: Mallorie Deschaine 6 kills; Amanda Hall, 8 assists, 1 kill, 1 ace.
HR: Nicole Slavoski 22 kills, 4 digs, 11 service points; Lauren Slavoski 7 kills, 12 service points, 5 assists; Lexie Evans 16 assists; Chelsea Skrepenak 6 digs.
Crestwood 3, MMI Prep 0
MMI Prep`8`21`24
Crestwood`25`25`25
MMI: Kristen Purcell 11 kills, 13 digs; Paige Darrow 12 service points, 8 digs, 5 kills; Amber Ferry 12 assists, 2 service points.
CRE: Olivia Jankowski 15 assists, 10 service points, 5 digs; Nicole Jankowski 10 kills, 7 service points, 11 digs; Emily Sipple 11 assists, 7 service points, 6 kills; Taryn Wojnar 6 service points, 5 kills.
Berwick 3, Hanover Area 0
Berwick`25`25`25
Hanover Area`15`20`9
BER: Courtney Soboleski 5 digs, 17 assists, 9 aces; Sydney Reigel 2 digs, 2 kills, 2 aces; Alex Walton 4 kills, 8 service points.
HAN: Shalianna Rios 11 digs, 1 kill, 3 service points; Cheyenne Fine 5 aces, 3 kills, 2 digs; Raeann Walton 3 assists, 2 digs, 3 service points.

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