Down for the count: Bradford sweeps Punxsy

PUNXSUTAWNEY— The match between Bradford and Punxsy had a playoff atmosphere to it at Punxsutawney Area High School.

By now, you know the story.

The Lady Chucks traveled to Bradford last year during the regular season, only to get swept.

In the District IX Championship match, however, the Lady Chucks returned the favor with an epic five-game win over the Lady Owls.

In their first meeting since, Bradford took it to Punxsy, defeating the Lady Chucks in a three-game sweep, 25-9, 25-20, 25-17.

"We were a mess the first set. All night, we didn't
really play our game," head coach Heather Good said. "We played better, we can do better, and we have better athletes than what we showed."

Despite what happened in Districts, Bradford head coach Michael Leet said he didn't have this game circled on his calendar.

"I just think we play one game at a time," Leet said. "We'll enjoy this win tonight and get back to work tomorrow. There's no revenge or any of that. They did a great job last year."

For the Lady Chucks, it was the first match they've surrendered on their home court all season.

The big issue for the Lady Chucks was the unforced errors — especially in the first set — that ultimately did them in.

"The unforced errors killed us. We gave them free ball after free ball," Good said. "When you give a team a free ball, they're going to hit it
at you."

Good said that even if nerves played a part in the eary struggles, the girls can't use that as an excuse.

"There may have been a little bit of nerves, but there's really no excuse," Good said. "Even when you're nervous, you still have to come out and play."

A big part of the struggle for the Lady Chucks was the movement that Bradford displayed on the court.

"Not so much their defense, but our blockers had some trouble following their hitters," Good said. "But that's something that we can work on to get better."

As indicative by the score, the Lady Chucks battled back to make the second and third sets closer, but in the end, the Lady Owls were too much to overcome.

"They came back from that first set and played much better. They really did," Good said. "But I think we still have a lot more talent than we showed tonight."

Taking the optimistic point of view, if the script stays the same, Punxsy and Bradford could have another match coming up in the Districts.

Is that something that could happen again this year, coach?

"That's the plan," Good said.

As for the junior varsity, the Lady Chucks topped the Lady Owls in three sets.

Punxsy took the first set 25-21, before losing the second set 25-20.

In the third game, the Lady Chucks walked away with a 15-13 win.

The Lady Chucks will have today to practice, before traveling to St. Marys Thursday.