Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Shenango High girls volleyball team has first place all to itself.
The Lady Wildcats shook off their first loss of the season Monday with a 25-21, 14-25, 25-21, 25-19 WPIAL Section 3-A road victory over Laurel last night.
Shenango (6-0, 8-1) suffered its first defeat to Beaver, a Class AA member, in four games, and went into last night’s match tied with the Lady Spartans for first place in the section.
“I think they took it (the loss to Beaver) as a learning moment,” Lady Wildcats assistant coach Mark Lonett said. “Bouncing back and still being able to play strong in a key section match was big.”
The loss bumps the Lady Spartans (5-1, 7-1) into second place.
“It’s always sad to lose a match, especially when you’ve been winning or have a winning record,” Laurel coach Nikki Downing said. “That by far was the best we’ve played all year together.
“We’ve always lost to Shenango in the first game, at home. I wanted to win. I thought we were going to win. They were a good team and we knew we had to clean up our side of the court and not make errors. It could have went either way, really.”
Sophia Koury slammed 10 kills for the Lady Wildcats and Jade Esposito scooped up 14 digs. Christina Rapone notched nine assists and Nicole Watkins added three aces.
“It was definitely a big win going into Laurel,” Lonett said. “They had a lot of support backing them. We played strong throughout the matches.
“It’s good to see us making an aggressive run at the postseason and a strong run at the section title.”
Mackenzie Mraz led the Lady Spartans (5-1, 7-1) with 14 kills and five points, while Allie Collier contributed nine kills, three blocks and four points.
Leah Telesz followed with eight kills, eight digs and three points, and Rachael Baker chipped in with seven digs and six points. Makayla Dupont was next with 27 assists and for points.
Kristan Fedrizzi scooped up 18 digs for the hosts.
“I think in a way this is good for us,” Downing said. “It puts us in a good position. I feel my girls want to settle a lot and they feel they have something in the bag when they’ve already beaten someone.
“When we play teams that we should get an easy win against, we pull our hair out trying to get a win. Maybe next time they’ll have an attitude that they need to put forth a great effort to win at Shenango. This is not a stop sign for us. It’s a continuation of the journey and we need to grow.”
Downing was particularly pleased with Mraz’s effort.
“I thought Mackenzie was the fire of the team,” Downing said. “She hit every ball and messed with their defense a little bit.
“She has been our go-to player. She was a leader out there. I think she will carry this on for the rest of the season.”
Shenango won the JV match as well, 25-19, 25-15.
Irene Koury spiked nine kills for the Lady Wildcats.
Allyson Kendall posted four points and five digs for the Lady Spartans, and Callie Ritchie added three kills and three points.
Neshannock tops Union
The Lady Lancers knocked off Union in a Section 3-A home match, 25-15, 25-17, 25-15.
Jordan Wethli recorded 10 points, nine kills and three aces for Neshannock (4-2, 5-8). Katie Burrelli was next with 13 points and four kills.
Rayanna Furst delivered seven points, eight kills and five aces for the winners, while Annalisa Frengel contributed three aces. Courtney Proctor chipped in with three kills.
Taylor Frank supplied 30 assists, nine points and three kills.
Allyson Conrad contributed six digs for the Lady Scots, Christina Noble added five digs and four assists.
Morgan Miller posted four kills and Dacia Neely followed with five digs. Tyanna Harris posted six assists.
Neshannock won the JV match, 25-9, 25-19.
Mia Vitale led the Lady Lancers with 17 points and three aces. Tayler Grybowski delivered eight points, five aces and four kills.
Cassidy Burrelli added four points and nine kills, while Gina Zingaro posted 20 assists.
The Lady Wolverines rolled to a 25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 25-19 Section 1-AA victory over Mohawk at home.
Isabella Williams led Ellwood City (2-3, 4-3) with four aces, 13 digs and 25 assists, while Asia Borders supplied six blocks and 12 kills.
Angela McCowin was next with seven blocks, 12 digs and 15 kills.
Devon Giancola registered 10 kills and 10 digs for the Lady Warriors (1-4, 5-4) and Paige Ruby was next with 10 kills.
Maria Fleck posted six aces and five kills for the guests, while Malea Tress chipped in with 27 assists and four aces.
The Lady Wolverines won the JV match, 25-21, 21-25, 15-8.
Emily Brown paced Ellwood with 13 digs and 12 assists. Sydney Shurtz added five kills and Miranda Fuchs supplied five kills.
Lady ’Hounds earn win
Wilmington’s Cassidy Marett registered 14 points, 30 assists and nine digs in a 25-11, 21-25, 25-21, 25-14 District 10, Region 3-AA home decision over Mercer.
Abby Sotter followed Marett’s effort with 14 points, 12 digs and nine kills for the Lady Greyhounds (2-2, 2-3). Katherine Clark contributed 11 points, five aces, five kills and seven digs, while Lexi Ligo chipped in with nine points, 14 digs and four aces.
Tessa Sikora supplied six points, 11 kills and eight blocks. Jamie Thompson followed with four points and four digs, while Saloma Byler slammed five kills.
“We still are not playing at the level the team is capable of playing, but it is always good to get a win and we are trying to build on the positives,” Lady Greyhounds coach Amber Marett said.
Wilmington won the JV match, 18-25, 25-19, 15-13.
Jamie Thompson recorded 16 points, five aces and four assists for the Lady Greyhounds, and Alana Romeo added seven digs. Julie Falvo notched five markers.
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