Altoona too much for Punxsy spikers

PUNXSUTAWNEY — At times you cannot tell how great of an event the contest played was by what the scoreboard says. This was the case when Punxsy hosted Altoona in girls' volleyball Thursday night. The Lady Lions did prove to have the scoreboard in their favor, 3-0, when the match was completed.

"Our players played a phenomenal game tonight," said Lady Chucks' head coach Heather Good. "The final score doesn't reflect how the match was, as each game could of went either way."

The momentum in the long run went the visiting Altoona's way by game scores of 16-25, 22-25 and 16-25.

Sydney Weaver and Taylor Newcome led the Lady Chucks' firepower with six kills apiece, as the team completed the night with only 18 kills. Weaver added a team-high eight digs with an assist, and Newcome had three digs to her credit.

Punxsy (5-2) also produced a season-low five aces with two each coming from Chelsea Engeholm and Sydney Phillips, with both having three digs as well.

Shayla Brink added six digs and an ace while Emily Reitz dug five balls. Both setters, Ashley Reitz and Shaina Painter, produced three assists. Ashley Reitz put three set kills and four digs to her line while Painter had three digs.

Emilee States, two kills and two digs, and Bella Gallina, one kill, round out the Lady Chucks' players.

In the opener, Altoona put together two streaks that were key to it winning the game. Tied 5-5, the visitors ran off five points capped with two aces to go ahead, 10-5.

Punxsy pushed back with three points in a row of its own with States downing a kill and Engeholm lining an ace to pull back to within 11-8.

The Lady Lions took their advantage from 13-10 to 16-10 for their largest lead to that point and, shortly later, an ace took the difference to seven, 18-11. Punxsy remained tough, getting two-straight kills from Newcome for a 19-15 score but could get no closer as two kills on back-to-back points finished the set for Altoona, 25-16.

"Altoona used a quick attack but (it) was good for us to see it," pointed out Good. "Our blockers and defenders handled them well."

The second game was one that could have tipped either way even moreso. Tied at 4-4, Punxsy used a few Altoona miscues to open an 8-5 early lead. The Lady Lions answered right back with the next four points to pull ahead, 9-8.

The game would see the scoreboard tied eight more times with the final occasion at 16-16. Altoona made its move from there with four points in a row to pull ahead, 20-16. Punxsy came back to within two points four times with the fourth, 24-22, off a visiting service error. Off a Punxsy serve, Altoona pushed a kill across the court for the final point, 25-22.

In what would be the final game, Altoona took a tied game, 3-3, to an 8-3 advantage. Punxsy was unable to pull any closer than a three-point difference, 9-6, as Altoona slowly built its lead before taking away the 25-16 victory and match.

Altoona captured the first bout of the night in the Junior Varsity match-up. The Lady Lions prevailed 19-25 and 15-25.

"It was an exceptional night for Taylor Cary. She hustled and didn't give up on anything for us," said afterward by JV coach Tabi Bowers. "We played with a lot of heart and didn't give up until the match was finished on the final point."

The Lady Chucks will have almost a week off before traveling to face the Lady Cardinals of DCC next Tuesday, Sept. 25th for a 6 p.m. first serve.