CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights has six seniors in its starting lineup, but a sophomore provided a spark in the first set and the top-seeded Lady Comets defeated No. 4 seed Western Wayne, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-22), in a District 2 Class 3A girls volleyball semifinal match Tuesday evening.
Abington Heights will play No. 2 seed Nanticoke for the district title Thursday evening at Wilkes University. The match will begin 30 minutes after the end of the Class 2A match scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
“It’s really an honor,” Abington Heights senior Paris Koehler said. “We lost to Nanticoke in the (semifinals) last year, so playing them in the championship is a really big deal for us.”
With the score tied, 11-11, in the first set, sophomore Adele Hollander, rattled off seven consecutive service points, including three aces.
“I felt like if we got the momentum in the first set, we’d have it for the whole game,” Hollander said. “The noise and emotions from the crowd helps us get energy.”
Hollander finished the match with 13 service points, seven digs and five aces.
Abington Heights’ Emma Baker had six of her game-high 13 kills in the second set to help the Lady Comets take a commanding 2-0 lead.
Eight of her kills came off assists from Jasmine McDuffie, who finished with 21 in the game.
“We’ve developed (chemistry) really well,” Baker said. “We became really close this year and we have some plays figured out. We’re kind of like a dynamic duo now.”
Western Wayne jumped out to a 9-1 lead to start the third set, but Abington Heights remained composed and completed the sweep.
According to Lady Comets head coach Kendra Hooper, the team has matured due to drills in practice that help them recover from adversity.
“I’ll start them (playing) down against a team and they need to work their way back up,” Hooper said. “We’re used to being a very strong team and when we start to struggle, we go crazy on the court. We don’t make good plays, and we’re not confident and focused. It’s something we’ve worked on, so I’m really glad they’ve been taking what we’ve being doing in practice and are working their way back into games.”
Trail falls in quarterfinals
No. 3 seed Meyers defeated No. 6 seed Lackawanna Trail, 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-9) in a District 2 Class 2A girls volleyball quarterfinal match Monday evening at Holy Redeemer.
Carolyn Mack led Lackawanna Trail with four assists. Ashtyn Mecca had three kills and Allison Melnikoff had one kills and one ace for the Lady Lions.
“We felt that we were prepared enough, but we kind of got in our own head a little bit,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Ryan Laubach said. “We made mistakes, and it sort of snowballed from there. We just couldn’t fight through and pick up some points to stop their momentum.”
Tom Fox contributed to this story.