Three strong sets lead Punxsy to victory

BROOKVILLE — The Punxsutawney volleyball squad traveled to Brookville Junior-Senior High School Tuesday night to take on the Lady Raiders, and the Lady Chucks reigned victorious in straight sets, 25-16, 25-9, 25-8.

"I think that we did really well as a team," Punxsy head coach Lisa Kephart said. "We had some switches in our rotation, but they did a really good job and worked to pull out the win."

The Punxsy girls had Brookville's number from the beginning of the match as they notched an early 10-point lead in the first set before dropping a point to the Lady Raiders.

When Punxsy was up 16-4 in the first set, Brookville started to mount a comeback and eventually pulled within two points of the Lady Chucks. But Punxsy maintained its composure and allowed Brookville to get only two more points before finishing the first set, 25-16.

"The Brookville team had a couple of good servers that took away our lead a few times, but we came back and just talked it up and hit well," Kephart said.

Although Punxsy's Tori Martin had two kills early on to give her team a 6-1 lead, the second set was a bit more competitive at first.

But Punxsy began to pull away at about the 10-point mark, and several unforced errors by Brookville helped the Lady Chucks to a second-set victory.

The Lady Chucks once again jumped out to an early lead in the third set, and they held Brookville to its lowest-scoring set. Punxsy's Sydney Weaver had a strong third set, putting up two blocks and two kills to help her team earn the win.

"Sydney Weaver is probably our strongest hitter right now, and she's just a junior," Kephart said.

Sophomore Taylor New- come was also a standout for Punxsy as she had four kills during the match.

"(Newcome) has been doing really well hitting for us," Kephart said. "Any position I put her in, she's doing a really good job."

Weaver led Punxsy's offense over the course of the match with five kills and one service ace. Martin had five kills of her own, and Newcome was close behind with four. Shayla Brink and Janie Depp-Hutchinson each had three kills, and Cassie Cook rounded out the offense with one kill.

Chelsea Engeholm was the strongest server for the Lady Chucks, notching three service aces.

Cook and Brooke Doney each added two service aces, and Depp-Hutchinson and Weaver followed closely behind with one apiece.

Kephart said she has been pleased with how her team has performed in the varsity role.

"Our team didn't get much varsity experience," she said. "This year, it's really nice to see all of them moving forward and stepping up to get points."

The Lady Chucks' junior varsity team also played a strong match Tuesday night and needed only two sets to beat the Lady Raiders, 25-8, 25-7.

Several members of the JV squad played a part in Punxsy's victory. Shaina Painter and Ivy Phillips led the scoring with two services aces each; Jensen Constan-tino and Ashley Reitz each had one.

Madison Neal led Punxsy's offense with four kills, and Phillips and Emilee States notched two each. Isabella Gallina, Constantino, Hailey Brady, Nicole DiPietro and Painter all had one kill.

"They all did an amazing job," Punxsy JV coach Megan Decker said. "I don't want to pinpoint one person because it was just a great team effort."