Punxsy defeats St. Marys, looks forward to rematch with Bradford for D-IX title

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Usually, when a first date goes bad, a second one is out of the question.

But not in this case.

See, the last time that Punxsy and Bradford met during the regular season, the Lady Owls volleyball team didn't just beat Punxsy on its home court, they swept Punxsy 3-0.

After the Lady Chucks defeated the Lady Dutch of St. Marys 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16) on Tuesday night, the Lady Chucks will have a shot at redemption on Thursday, when the team travels to St. Marys face Bradford for the District IX title at 6:30 p.m.

"That's what we wanted to see," head coach Heather Good said. "We got ourselves down at the beginning of every set except the last one. We didn't execute right away, so that's something we'll have to fix before
Thursday. Other than that, these girls did a fantastic job tonight."

As Good said, the Lady Chucks got down early in the first three sets of the match.

In each one, however, one Lady Chuck was able to step up her game and swing the momentum back to Punxsy.

In the first game, it was Ivy Phillips, who rattled off six serves in a row when Punxsy was trailing 7-5.

In game two, when the Lady Chucks were trailing 7-2, Shaina Painter stepped up to win eight serves in a row to swing the momentum back to Punxsy.

Like clockwork, Taylor Newcome followed in the third set when the Lady Chucks were trailing 9-4 to win six serves in a row.

Finally, Sydney Phillips joined the party, as she won five in a row in the fourth and final set.

"It's extremely important. I was just waiting each set for that person to go in and get us out of our little rut that we had going on," Good said. "I'm really glad that Ivy Phillips, Sydney Phillips, [Shaina] Painter and [Taylor] Newcome could go in there to do what they did."

The game alone had a playoff feel throughout, but the atmosphere throughout the gymnasium added to it.

Numerous wrestling-based chants such as "Yes! Yes! Yes!," "No! No! No!," and "Feed me more!" were ringing loud throughout the match.

At the end, the Lady Chucks applauded loudly to show their support.

"That was a lot of fun. Hopefully they're coming Thursday," Good said with a smile.

The fans did let out one final chant, however, when the score read 24-16 in the final set.

A chorus of voices were repeating, "We want Bradford" over and over

For the second straight year, Punxsy will be able to face the Lady Owls in the District IX title game after losing to them in the regular season.

Well, coach, do you and the girls want Bradford, too?

"They do. They want to win," Good said. "Not only do they want Bradford, but the District IX title has been our goal. That's what we've been looking toward all season. This is going to be our final step to getting that banner."