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High School Sports

September 17, 2013

Penn Cambria sweeps three straight games

CRESSON — The Penn Cambria volleyball team made mistakes and committed some unforced errors against Central Cambria on Tuesday night in a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference game.

But the Panthers remained steady throughout and used a big game by seniors Tori Shingler and Kelly Yusko to come out with a 3-0 victory over the Red Devils winning 25-18, 25-18, 25-15. The win kept Penn Cambria unbeaten at 6-0.

“When we get all kind of dislocated where we’re at, then we have to regroup and I think that’s what makes us come back together as a team,” Shingler said. “We usually pick each other up all the time and that’s how we stick together and fight through and win.”

Shingler finished with 17 kills and five blocks while Yusko had 31 assists and 13 digs. Both players were part of last year’s team which finished undefeated in the conference and claimed the District 6 Class AA title, the Panthers’ second in three seasons.

This season there is a mix of more seasoned players along with several freshmen on the floor.

“I think there is a little bit of pressure this season because everyone expects us to be as good as we were last year,” Shingler said. “I think we are going to do well. We have some good freshman coming up and they are playing well. When I was a freshman the older girls helped me and now I want to help this group of freshmen. It’s just like a team thing.”

Coach Leah Montgomery says she is waiting for someone to take control on the court and help smooth some of the rough edges off.

“We have those young girls out there and one of the older girls needs to step up and take control out there and I’m hoping at some point that happens so we start having fewer unforced errors,” the Penn Cambria coach said. “It’s just a matter of communication and moving and talking to each other so hopefully when they start doing that we’ll play better and get into a better rhythm.”

The Panthers trailed just once in the opening game, at 3-2. Penn Cambria went on a 6-0 run keyed by solid serving from Lily Krull to take an 8-3 lead. The Devils got the next point but were never able to get any closer the rest of the game and trailed by as many as 10 points.

The second game was much closer with seven lead changes and 10 ties before Penn Cambria took a 17-16 advantage and outscored Central Cambria 8-2 for the win.

“Tori is a strong athlete and has a lot of experience and that’s an asset that we don’t have this year, but I think in the second game, they realized that they could still defend their own court,” Central Cambria coach Tracey Elkin said. “We still have to focus on our end of it and not get into panic mode and change our game plan.”

In the third game, after a tie at 4, Penn Cambria forged ahead and never trailed again.

Sophomore Taylor Boring finished with 20 defensive digs and junior Heidi Hendrickson had 15 defensive digs for the Red Devils (2-4).

“We are going to be mismatched in the conference height-wise but we have a very strong defensive athletic team that is to our advantage at times if we stay focused,” Elkin said. “The only way they are going to win, is to play as a team.”

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