Firing on all cylinders: Punxsy earns 2 sweeps

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsy's seventh- and eighth-grade girls' volleyball teams each took on DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday afternoon in Punxsutawney, and both teams earned sweeps over the Lady Cardinals.

In the eighth-grade contest, a three-game sweep for the Lady Chucks, Punxsy was dominant, picking up 25-16, 25-10 and 25-13 victories over DCC.

The first few points of the first game were fairly uneventful before Punxsy's Mallory Cameron stepped to the line and picked up two aces to give Punxsy a 4-3 lead.

A tip by Korinne Young on DCC's next serve gave service back to Punxsy's Morgan Doverspike. Doverspike picked up two points, and after a quick sideout, Meredith Gallina went on a seven-point run, including two aces, to give Punxsy a 15-5 advantage.

The Lady Cardinals answered with five straight of their own before Punxsy earned a sideout, and Young earned two aces to push the lead back to seven.

After a few more back-and-forth points, Punxsy's Doverspike stepped back to the line and earned two points, including an ace on the final point, to seal the game, 25-16.

In Game No. 2, Emma White started off serving for the Lady Chucks and earned the first point on a nice diving play to give Punxsy an early lead, one it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

DCC earned a sideout to bring the score to 2-1, but a kill by Hope Bridge gave Punxsy service back, and Claire Smith scored three points, including one on a MiKeelee Brink kill, to extend Punxsy's lead to 6-2.

After another quick sideout on DCC's next chance behind the service line, Punxsy's Ivy Ferko went on a five-point run, which included four consecutive aces, to give Punxsy a 12-3 lead.

DCC battled back with three straight, but Brink ended that run with another kill.

The teams traded sideouts for a number of possessions before White picked up two in a row, Smith drove a kill down DCC's side and Smith ended the game with three straight aces and a fourth-consecutive point.

Punxsy's serving was again dominant in the third and final set, as the Lady Chucks cruised to a 25-13 victory for the sweep.

Punxsy's Shaylee Ken- nedy gave the Lady Chucks some early breathing room with five consecutive aces amidst a seven-point string to set the score at 9-3.

A pair of tips by Ferko for kills earned Punxsy sideouts when it needed them, and after the Lady Cardinals narrowed the gap to just three points, White went on a scoring run to extend the lead back to seven.

Kennedy finished the game the way she started off with two aces and two unreturnable serves to end the game, 25-13.

"We played this same team over the weekend, and we played much better today," Punxsy head coach Megan Decker said. "The girls are improving, and that's really all I can ask of them."

In the seventh-grade contest, Punxsy picked up a pair of close victories, 25-22 and 25-18.

With the score tied 6-6 early in the first game, Alli Ishman rang up five straight aces to put Punxsy ahead, 11-6.

The teams exchanged sideouts back and forth until DCC took a 16-15 lead with a five-point run.

But Punxsy's Brayden Woodrow scored three points, including two aces, to put Punxsy back ahead.

DCC never stopped battling back, though, and the Lady Cardinals tied the game at 19.

Alli Lunger stepped to the line and served three straight aces to put Punxsy ahead for good.

A serve by Ishman ended the game with the score 25-22.

In the second game, DCC jumped out to an early lead and led as far along as 11-10, but Sarah Mahlberg scored four points for Punxsy to put them ahead, 14-11, and the Lady Chucks finished on an 11-7 run to earn the sweep.

Short runs by Hanna Ebel, who had a pair of aces, Devon Dubensky and Kim- berlee Shoemaker finished it off for the Lady Chucks. Mahlberg also added a kill for Punxsy.

The Lady Chucks will be back in action Thursday when they host St. Marys.