Lady Chucks satisfied with third-place effort

WEST SHAMOKIN — After playing seven tough matches in West Shamokin at a tournament, the Lady Chucks varsity volleyball squad walked away with third place.

Punxsy eventually fell in the semi-finals to Elderton, but Punxsy head coach Lisa Kephart was pleased with her team throughout the day.

"We definitely put fourth great effort," she said.

Saturday's tournament began with the Lady Chucks in the East Pool, playing two sets of 21 against both St. Joseph and West Shamokin.

Punxsy swept St. Joseph, 25-17, 25-12, for its first game of the day.

During the match against St. Joseph, Sydney Weaver led Punxsy's offense with six kills and one block. Cassie Cook had a supreme serving effort with six aces through the two sets. She also added one kill and 12 assists. Janie Depp-Hutchinson added two aces, and Shayla Brink had one. Brink also notched three kills.

Taylor Newcome and Tori Martin added one kill each.

The Lady Chucks then split with host-team West Shamokin. In the first set, which Punxsy won 25-19, Weaver had three kills and two blocks, while Newcome had a kill and a block. Martin added two kills, and Brink notched one. Cook passed well during the set, earning herself seven assists.

The second set against West Shamokin was a hard-fought one, which Punxsy lost 24-25. Weaver once again led the offense with two kills and two blocks. Newcome, Martin, Brink and Cook each added one kill.

"Brooke Doney and Chelsea Engeholm both hustled very well and got some nice passes to lead us (as well," Kephart said.

After only losing one set in East Pool play, the Lady Chucks had earned first place, leading them into the Gold Pool to play Penns Manor, Altoona and Elderton.

The Lady Chucks fell in two sets to Altoona during the first Gold Pool match.

"Altoona (is) a very strong team," Kephart said. "We did excellent playing against them."

Newcome led the team with three kills. Weaver and Martin each added two, while Brink had one.

Cook led the assist game with seven total, and she also had two blocks. Brink notched two blocks in the first set alone. Engholm and Weaver each had a service ace against Altoona.

"(Altoona) is very consistent and runs the ball well," Kephart said. "We managed to hang right with them, giving them a challenge in the first set."

Punxsy then fell in straight sets to Penns Manor. Weaver had four kills, one block and two aces to lead the Lady Chucks. Cook also had a nice performance with five assists, one kill and one service ace. Newcome added two kills, while Brink added two blocks, and Depp-Hutchinson notched one service ace.

"We weren't talking as well as we should have been during this match and played a little more sluggish than earlier matches," Kephart said.

In the final match of Gold Pool play, Punxsy was swept by Elderton. This time, Newcome led the offense with four kills and a block. Cook once again had an impressive game with eight assists and one kill.

Weaver notched three kills, and Brink and Depp-Hutchinson had one each. Depp-Hutchinson also had a service ace.

After playing all three teams in the Gold Pool, the Lady Chucks moved on to the first round of the playoffs.

"We took fourth in the pool, which allowed us to be placed against the number one spot of the Silver Pool," Kephart said.

The playoffs consisted of only one set against each opponent, and it was single elimination format.

The Lady Chucks took down Riverview, 25-20, in the first round.

"We were talking to each other and moving like a team," Kephart said.

Weaver led the offense with two kills and a block, while Brink had one kill and two service aces. Cook continued her consistency with three assists, and she added a service ace. Newcome had one block, while Depp-Hutchinson served one ace.

"The girls had fun while playing this game, which really showed and helped to pull out the win," Kephart said.

The Lady Chucks were then eliminated by Elderton, which had swept them previously in the day.Cook had two assists during the set with one service ace and a block. Weaver had two blocks and one kill, while Brink had one block and one kill. Martin added one kill for Punxsy.

"Elderton is a really tough team with some big hitters," Kephart said. "It was difficult for us to get up and block against such a tall team."

After a long day, Punxsy took home third place.