It took four games for the Neshannock High volleyball team to get in a rhythm.
The result was a second straight trip to the WPIAL semifinals.
The fifth-seeded Lady Lancers defeated 13th-seeded Avonworth 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 27-25 in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals last night at North Hills High School.
“We started playing our game in the last game,” Neshannock coach Andrew Frank. “We played better offense then and, not to take anything away from Avonworth, but we just had to find our groove.”
Tayler Grybowski led Neshannock with 11 kills, 15 points and four blocks, Jordan Wethli added 15 kills, 18 points and three aces and Cassidy Burrelli totaled 11 kills and 14 points.
“Between Tayler, Jordan and Cassidy, once those three came alive, the offensive game started to come alive,” Frank said. “Once we started shifting into gear, we started scoring points. They started attacking the ball more, becoming more aggressive.”
Kaela Zingaro posted four kills and six points, while Taylor Frank, the coach’s daughter, tallied 47 assists and four digs.
Neshannock will face off against top-seeded Bishop Canevin tomorrow at a time and site to be determined. The Lady Crusaders defeated Serra Catholic 3-0 in their quarterfinal matchup.
Frank believes it will take a well-rounded effort to knock Bishop Canevin into the consolation game.
“As long as we stay together as a unit on the floor, attack every ball we can attack and serve tough balls, we can take the other team out of their groove,” Frank said. “That’s a good team playing against a good team, so we need to serve tough. We have a well rounded serving and attacking unit, we just have to be firing on all cylinders.”
The table is now set for a possible Lawrence County showdown, with Shenango advancing to the semifinals as well. The two sides split matches during the regular season and split the Section 3-A title.
“It would be wonderful,” Frank said. “That would be a really great thing to happen, to have a Lawrence County final. This team that I have now, they have done nothing but improve from year to year. Every year the goals improve and they’ve achieved a lot of first for the program. To get to that point, that would be wonderful for both programs.”