PUNXSUTAWNEY — After splitting the two opening games, Punxsy finished strong to overpower Curwensville in the second two contests for the 3-1 victory Thursday night.
The Lady Chucks came back from a big first game deficit to capture a 25-21 win, only to see the Lady Tide edge the second contest, 22-25. Punxsy came on strong the rest of the night to overpower Curwensville in the deciding next to games, 25-14 and 25-15.
"The girls played with great intensity all night long," said Lady Chucks coach Heather Good. "They came back from huge deficits a few times to win the set. Our defense was on top of their game the whole match."
Junior middle hitter Taylor Newcome stepped up her game. Newcome blistered 15 kills with a .433 hitting percentage while adding an assist and a dig. Her front line mate Sydney Weaver also recorded 15 kills to go with 14 digs and two blocks. Shayla Brink completed the hitting with four kills, six digs and three aces.
"At the net, Taylor dominated all four sets — she hit the ball hard and played very smart," stated the Punxsy coach. "Shayla also controlled the net from the outside. Her serving was spot-on, and she mixed it up well back there."
Setter Ashley Reitz tried to match Newcome's outing with 14 assists, four aces, six digs and a kill. The team's other setter Shaina Painter contributed nine assists.
The back court played a key role in the victory with Chelsea Engeholm, Sydney Phillips and Emily Reitz. Engeholm dug 13 balls while lining a pair of aces and one kill. Phillips laced a team-best five aces and had 11 digs. Emily Reitz produced 14 digs of her own to go with four aces.
"Chelsea, Emily, and Sydney Phillips really did well in the back court. Tonight was a fantastic win for us — the girls feel really great about the whole night." concluded coach Good.
In the opener, Punxsy (3-1) trailed 15-20 midway through the game.
Newcome led the comeback with three kills and Brink lined two of her three aces on the night to help the Lady Chucks run off eight-straight points to go in front 23-20.
Punxsy scored two of the final three points with Weaver killing the ball for the final point, 25-21.
Curwensville took advantage of some Punxsy late miscues to edge out a 25-22 second game.
The Lady Chucks led 10-4 in game three before rattling off the next six points and were never challenged again in a 25-14 win.
Punxsy repeated the third game effort in a 25-15 game four posting for the 3-1 four set victory.
In the junior varsity matchup, the Lady Chucks squandered a 14-11 third game lead as the Lady Tide scored the final five points to take a 14-16 win and 2-1 match.
Punxsy claimed the first JV game going away, 25-11, before Curwensville evened the match in game two, 18-25.
"Keeley Dubensky played very smart. She made good passes and was very smart at the net." pointed out JV coach Tabi Bowers. "The girls played so well the first game. They looked strong and hustled well. In games two and three, the girls just gave up too many points on missed serves."
Punxsy will next travel on Monday to Rimersburg for a match at Union before hosting Brookville Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m.