WILKES-BARRE — Kasey Radginski and Jilann Baron dominated in the front row as No. 2 seed Nanticoke defended its title with a 3-1 win over top-seeded Abington Heights in the District 2 Class 3A championship match Nov. 2 at Wilkes University. Set scores were 17-25, 25-16, 25-18 and 25-16.
The win wasn’t an easy one, though.
Taking advantage of 15 Trojans miscues in the opening set, Abington Heights jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match.
“We had a lot of momentum, and our energy was up,” Abington Heights head coach Kendra Hooper said. “I thought it was going to roll over to the second game, but we made some mistakes and they started to rally. I just think we lost our energy, and when we got down a few points, it got to us mentally.”
The defending district champs roared back.
And it was a total team effort.
Radginski and Baron combined for 10 kills in the second set to help the Trojans pull away. Alyssa Lewis had four momentum-changing spikes in the third set, one where Nanticoke broke it open on an 8-0 run on Baron’s serve.
It was everyone in the fourth set. Steady setting by Reilly Miller, strategic swings by Codi Hornlein. and the hot hands of Radginski and Baron. Nanticoke jumped out to a 13-8 lead on Lewis’ serve, and scored the final seven points of the game to seal the victory.
“Our passing was off in the first set,” Nanticoke head coach Debbie Gavin said. “All season, we’ve come from behind to win. They can bounce back. They are a bunch of resilient kids.”
Coming off a 21-kill performance in the semifinals, Baron finished with a match-high 18 kills for the Trojans, while Radginski added 15 kills and seven blocks.
Emma Baker led Abington Heights with six kills, three blocks and two aces. Cassie Ksiazek had four kills and an ace, and Jasmine McDuffie finished with 10 assists and four kills.
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