PUNXSUTAWNEY – It was a night of some needed runs. Punxsy used two late scoring bursts wrapped around a game with two others in its three-game sweep over Johnsonburg Thursday night.
The Lady Chucks finished the first game off with the final six points to win 25-22. The home team used one seven-point run to open a lead and another to double up the Ramettes in a 25-16 second set before running off five-straight late points for a 25-20 third contest.
"It's really nice to win in three games. We struggled in passing tonight but our serving stepped up a lot," said Punxsy coach Heather Good. "We just need to focus on playing our game. Our game will win us games."
The trio of Emily Reitz, Chelsea Engeholm and Sydney Phillips led the Punxsy (7-2) serving with three aces apiece of the team's 13 on the night. Engeholm and Phillips added five digs each, with Reitz having 12 digs and an assist.
Even though she had just two aces, Shayla Brink may have had the best evening serving. She served out the first game covering six points and served six-straight points in the second game to go with five kills and eight digs.
Sydney Weaver accounted for the other two aces. The middle hitter completed her line with seven kills, three blocks, 10 digs and an assist.
Taylor Newcome and Emilee States tied Weaver with seven kills apiece as well. Newcome blocked two attacks and dug two balls.
States hit .357 and dug two attacks. Bella Gallina chipped in five kills and three digs of her own.
Ashley Reitz produced the top assist honors with 13 to go with seven digs and a kill. Shaina Painter handed out five assists along with seven digs and a kill.
"We adjusted and handled tips well," added Good. "We stayed on our toes and dug up some pretty difficult balls."
The opener was tied six times before two Engeholm back-to-back aces pushed Punxsy in front 15-11. Johnsonburg held strong and edged in front 22-19. It was all Brink for the Lady Chucks from there.
After one point in its favor, Punxsy's States killed one ball before Brink lined a push down the line for a second point. Brink followed with an ace and Newcome killed the next point for game point. Brink finished out the game with a bump over the net the Ramettes couldn't return for the 25-22 victory.
Tied at 6-6 in the second contest, the Lady Chucks ran off seven points in a row behind three Newcome kills and one from States with Brink proving the serving prowess again in the run including two aces for a 13-6 lead.
Leading 15-12, it was Emily Reitz's turn to keep the serving going for Punxsy. Weaver began what would be a nine-point burst with a kill and a solo block. Reitz laced three-straight aces, and Weaver added a third kill on an overpass to see the score at 24-12. The Lady Chucks would finish out the game a few minutes later on a Weaver hit to the back row for a 25-16 final.
Johnsonburg was right with Punxsy in the third game and within a point at 19-18 late in the game. The home team took over from there with five points in a row, compliments of three Phillips aces before Brink tipped the final point to the floor and 25-20 match point.
Punxsy saw its junior varsity team once again set the tone for the whole night. The Lady Chucks ran their record to 7-2 behind game wins of 25-15 and 25-11.
Kassi Niver lined five aces, and Taylor Cary added four aces of her own to highlight the effort.
"The girls kept up their intensity in a slow paced game with a record 20 aces to go with 11 kills," said JV coach Tabi Bowers.
Punxsy will next host Marion Center next Monday evening to open Oct. at 6 p.m.