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Last updated: October 04. 2013 12:52AM - 1381 Views
TOM FOX For The Times Leader



Hazleton Area's Brianna Woznicki, left, and Katie Landis block a shot by Holy Redeemer's Alyssa Platko (7) in the first game of Thursday's WVC girls volleyball match in Hazleton.
Hazleton Area's Brianna Woznicki, left, and Katie Landis block a shot by Holy Redeemer's Alyssa Platko (7) in the first game of Thursday's WVC girls volleyball match in Hazleton.
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HAZLE TWP. – Give an opponent close to 45 points in a match, and you might not expect to leave the gymnasium with a victory.


That’s why you can understand why Jack Kablick took a deep breath as his unbeaten Holy Redeemer Royals were packing up their bags following a 3-0 victory over Hazleton Area.


Yes, the veteran head coach understood his team avoided major danger and a possible upset.


His team, winners of nearly 110 straight Wyoming Valley Conference matches, didn’t have one of its sharpest nights on the offensive end. And the Cougars weren’t going to back down from the challenge, either.


“I just thought our preparation for this game wasn’t there,” Kablick said. “Our girls just seemed to be going through the motions. And I think that will be the last time that it happens because I believe our captains will get that straightened out. Give Hazleton credit. They came out, played hard and kept the ball off the ground.”


Match scores were 25-19, 25-12 and 25-22.


The first set was pretty indicative of how the match went.


Holy Redeemer held a 19-17 lead. Out of the 17 points Hazleton was awarded, 16 of them came by way of Royal mistakes on either attack errors, service issues and just plain miscommunication on the court.


For the match, Redeemer had 21 attack breakdowns and 14 service errors.


“The points that we gave up were so uncharacteristic of our team,” Kablick said. “You have to work through the struggles. I thought we played good enough to get a victory.”


The Royals did have two big advantages: A stingy back-row defense that only allowed nine Cougar kills, and a hard-hitting outside attacker in Nicole Slavoski.


How good was Redeemer’s defense? Hazleton Area’s attackers only had three spikes through the first two sets, and didn’t record a single kill in the second stanza.


“They are a well-coached team, and we only two or three seniors on the team. That’s the difference in these close games. They have that experience.” Hazleton coach Greg Cechak said. “We played our hearts out. They have some middles and outside girls that really know and understand their coverages like the back of their hand. They are so disciplined, and that’s what volleyball is all about.”


Slavoski, an all-state candidate, was her normal self.


She was effective behind the service line with a strong jump-serve, and wasn’t afraid to take the big swing. The senior recorded kills from the outside and middle, and took advantage of several Lexie Evans’ sets to the back as well.


She scored a match-high 21 kills, including nine in the third when the Cougars started to find a little offensive groove.


Hazleton Area (8-4), which had won seven of its last eight matches, put itself in position to take a set from Redeemer – something no WVC school has done this season.


But the Royals regrouped quickly. Clinging to a 23-22 lead, Redeemer (12-0) got a cross-court spike by Slavoski, and scored its final point when the Cougars struggled to pass the ball off Kaya Swanek’s serve.


“The first and third sets, we gave it our all,” Cechak said. “We got a little down on ourselves in that second set, but we bounced back. I love playing against high competition because it only makes you better as a team.”


Nicole and Lauren Slavoski combined for 30 of Redeemer’s 36 kills, while Evans had 27 assists and libero Chelsea Skrepnack added nine digs.


Alivia Roberts and Julia Rudenko each had three kills to pace Hazleton Area.


North Pocono 3, Meyers 0


The Trojans cruised to the victory by scores of 25-14, 25-8, 25-6 led by Sydney Spott’s 21 service points and six aces.


Meyers’ Gina Strillacci had five service points and five digs.


Nanticoke 3, Coughlin 0


Taylor Briggs’ 11 aces helped Nanticoke to a 25-9, 25-14, 25-12 victory over the Crusaders. Abby Zaykowski had eight kills, and Lauren Rinehimer posted 16 assists.


The Crusaders’ Sandra Padilla had seven digs.


Delaware Valley 3, Dallas 0


Alyssa Kelley assisted on 10 kills to push the Warriors to a 25-6, 25-16, 25-9 win against Dallas. Bella Wood had nine assists.


Taylor Kelley tallied nine digs for Dallas. Mallory Faux and Erin Muldoon each picked up eight digs.


Lake-Lehman 3, GAR 0


Danae Sutliff gathered 15 kills and 10 blocks for the Black Knights in a 25-12, 25-22, 25-13 win over the Grenadiers. Kahli Kotulski and Lexi Oplinger each accumulated nine kills. Maria Chinikaylo assisted on 23 points.


Banessa Flores chipped in with 19 assists. Marie Skrepenak had six kills.


***


Holy Redeemer 3, Hazleton Area 0

Holy Redeemer`25`25`25


Hazleton Area`19`12`22


HR: Nicole Slavoski 21 kills, 10 service points, 7 digs; Lauren Slavoski 9 kills, 12 service points; Lexie Evans, 27 assists; Chelsea Skrepnack 9 digs


HAZ: Alivia Roberts 3 kills, 1 ace; Julia Rudenko 3 kills; Christie Kashack 7 assists


North Pocono 3, Meyers 0

North Pocono`25`25`25


Meyers`14`8`6


NP: Mallory DeShartne 8 kills; Sydney Spott 21 points, 6 aces.


MEY: Gina Strillacci 5 points, 5 digs


Nanticoke 3, Coughlin 0

Coughlin`9`14`12


Nanticoke`25`25`25


COU: Sandra Padilla 7 digs, 3 kills; Carmen Garcia 6 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace, 3 service points


NAN: Taylor Briggs 2 service points, 11 aces, 5 kills, 2 digs; Abby Zaykowski 4 aces, 8 kills, 1 assist, 1 dig; Lauren Rinehimer 3 aces, 5 kills, 16 assists


Delaware Valley 3, Dallas 0

Delaware Valley`25`25`25


Dallas`6`16`9


DV: Alyssa Kelley 8 service points, 10 assists, 9 kills, 2 blocks; Tara Sayles 7 kills, 1 block; Bella Wood 10 points, 9 assists.


DAL: Taylor Kelley 9 digs, 5 service points; Mallory Faux 2 blocks, 8 digs; Erin Muldoon 2 kills, 8 digs, 2 service points


Lake-Lehman 3, GAR 0

GAR`12`22`13


Lake-Lehman`25`25`25


GAR: Banessa Flores 19 assists, 3 digs; Marie Skrepenak 6 kills, 2 blocks; Jocelyne Vasquez 4 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs, 2 aces.


LL: Kahli Kotulski 9 kills, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 2 digs, 4 service points; Lexi Oplinger 9 kills, 5 blocks, 6 assists, 1 dig, 16 service points, 4 aces; Danae Sutliff 15 kills, 10 blocks, 2 digs, 8 service points, 3 aces.


 
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