PUNXSUTAWNEY — Fresh off its opening tournament, the Lady Chucks of Punxsutawney Area High School opened up their regular season at home against Ridgway on Tuesday evening.
The Lady Chucks played a tough Knoch opponent Saturday, but like one of their warmup songs said, it was "On to the next one."
Unfortunately for Ridgway, they were the next ones.
Punxsy took the match in three straight games (25-18, 25-21, 25-8) to start the regular season 1-0.
"We took the match in three straight games, which is what we were looking to do," head coach Heather Good said. "This is a game that we lost last year. It was good to come out with a sweep for our first game of the season."
The ladies had an all-around good evening in their home gym.
From serving, to the net-front presence, everything seemed to click all over.
"We had a good serving night tonight," Good said, "and I think that really bumped us up there, especially in that
That last game that Good was talking about was highlighted by two impressive runs; one by Shaina Painter and one by Emily Reitz.
"Shaina Painter really played a great game tonight. She had a ton of energy," Good said. "She really brings the team together when she's out there."
Continuing on the serving side of things, the Lady Chucks won an impressive 12 of Ivy Phillips' 16 serves.
"Her serving is always fantastic," Good said.
Not only did Phillips control the serving game, but she appeared to be a spark-plug for Good, getting in the other team's head with her energy.
"She definitely has a powerful serve and does a great job on the defensive side of the ball," Good said.
Despite the sweep, Punxsy did face adversity in the second game, when a
net infraction was called.
After Ridgway went on a 5-2 run, Good called a timeout.
"We were really into ourselves the second game for some reason. There seemed to be some tension on the court, and the girls expressed that during the timeout," Good said. "They got it back together and were able to finish off the game. If we dropped that game, that could've been bad."
Up front, Taylor Newcome (7) and Emilee States (9) led the Lady Chucks in kills.
"Newcome and States both did a fantastic job tonight. Hailey Brady did also," Good said. "All three of them really did well."
Leading the team in digs was Painter with eight, followed by Reitz with seven.
Prior to the varsity match, the junior varsity took the court.
Once again, the Lady Chucks took the match from Ridgway.
Leading the team in serves was Ashley Payson with 10 aces.
"Overall, the girls played a strong game and are learning to use each others' strengths to play as a team," Good said. "Kassi Niver played well at the net, and Taylor Carry played a smart game and proved her ability to adapt by stepping in to serve."
Punxsy will take on Brockway on Thursday, Sept. 5 at home. What does coach feel the team needs to
"We still have some things to work on with different parts of our game," Good said. "Again, we're learning strengths and weaknesses every time we play."