WILKES-BARRE — It’s something that’s been burning in Mallorie Deschaine’s mind for about one month now.
The last time North Pocono walked into Holy Redeemer High School, the Trojans struggled offensively against the Royals.
This time, it wasn’t against Redeemer.
Instead, North Pocono took out some pent-up frustration on Tunkhannock in the District 2 Class 2A volleyball semifinals.
Deschaine had a match-high 16 kills as the Trojans dominated the Tigers, 3-0, to advance to Friday night’s district championship.
There, Pocono will take on Holy Redeemer – a winner over Crestwood in the other semifinal.
“We worked hard to get this far,” Deschaine said. “We just take it day by day, and play the game we are capable of playing. We put forth our best effort, and hopefully, it’s good enough.”
You can’t blame Chris Summa for being a little leery.
After watching the way Tunkhannock handled No. 3 seed Western Wayne on Monday, the North Pocono head coach warned his Trojans about how dangerous they could be.
He even broke out his lucky red pants for the occasion.
“We wanted an opportunity to get to Friday night, and the pants were something I did during parents night,” Summa said. “It’s something different. It paid off. The kids played well tonight.”
But it was the fuel from that 3-0 loss to Redeemer on Sept. 19 that provided the passion and drive.
It was the opportunity for one more chance to dethrone the Royals, the six-time district Double-A champs.
“The last game against Redeemer, I think we played scared and weren’t ready to play,” Deschaine said. “I have a lot of confidence in our team. To get another chance at them really means a lot.”
North Pocono started quick and never looked back.
It was a 15-4 edge in the first set.
A 17-7 lead in the second stanza.
A 5-0 run to close the final set.
“Based how we played Monday and how Tunkhannock played, I was nervous,” Summa said. “Our kids responded. I thought Amanda Hall provided some real great leadership. And obviously, Mallorie was tough to stop. She was excellent at the net.”
Deschaine was the difference. She racked up eight of her 16 kills in the first set – including three monstrous spikes to end the set.
Taking perfect feeds from Hall, she continued her dominance in the third. Four kills by Deschaine, and aces from Emily Cook and Sydney Spott gave the Trojans a 20-15 lead before the game-ending 5-0 run.
Tunkhannock , the No. 6 seed, appeared frustrated by the Pocono firepower. The Tigers had 21 attack errors, and five service miscues in the third set alone.
Michelle Goodwin had six kills to pace Tunkhannock, while Erin Smith added 13 assists.
“As a team, it’s been a goal since the beginning of the season to put ourselves in the best spot for a championship,” Summa said. “We were able to lock down that No. 2 seed, which gave us a chance. We now have the opportunity to prove we can play better against Redeemer.”
North Pocono 3, Tunkhannock 0
North Pocono `25`25`25
TUNK: Michelle Goodwin 6 kills, 3 aces; Erin Smith 13 assists; Alison Wetherbee 4 kills, 1 ace.
NP: Mallorie Deschaine 16 kills, 2 aces; Emily Cook 5 kills, 5 aces; Amanda Hall 23 assists.