The Hempfield Black Knights furthered their decade-long hold on girls volleyball league championships Wednesday night by totaling an impressive eight titles in the last nine years.
Although the Penn Manor’s Comets were the victims in the devastating loss, they secured a second place league finish and refined their plans for district play.
The Comets fought hard but fell short in all three games as they got out of rhythm and made mistakes in the league playoff, of which a an experienced team such as Hempfield took quick advantage.
“We matched up skills-wise. I think we did just as good, both teams made mistakes, but they were better at fixing their mistakes, said Penn Manor coach Jared Staub the day after the match.
The first two games resulted in a 25-19 score with Hempfield dominating and staying on top throughout both games. Brittani Young, the Hempfield libero, was a key part in the win over the Comets. Coming back from an injury that forced her off the court for the past two games of the playoffs, Young played her game.
In the end, it was Hempfield’s flawless defense, passing and digging most of Manor’s serves and hits, which converted crucial points for the Knights.
The third game was a little different. The Comets came out with a determination to lengthen the night by winning the third game and going to a fourth. Late into the game the Comets maintained a lead of 18-17, but fell apart as they watched themselves fall to end up as the second seed in L-L League Class AAA going into districts.
District games start Saturday and the Comets are going in with the same attitude.
“First round is different. It’s a pool play tournament and a long night. We have to play hard, but force other teams to make mistake and not let teams push us around,” said Staub.
By Ryan Mays