The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

October 8, 2013

Cougars rally back to sting Yellow Jackets

North Star faced plenty of adversity Tuesday night in its WestPAC North volleyball match at Ferndale.

The vocal crowd at The Hive and a hot start by the Yellow Jackets put the Cougars in an early hole and they had to claw their way back with big serving and big hits in the four-game match. North Star prevailed 16-25, 25-19, 25-6, 25-18.

“We were a little bit out of sync,” North Star coach Tony Crisafulli said after his team improved to 11-1. “This is always a tough place to play. The fans are loud and the gym is small and we knew coming in that things were going to be a little off. We came out really flat and they came out really fired up ready to play. I don’t know where our heads were. But they got it together and they came back.”

Ferndale (8-5) tore out to a 6-0 lead in Game 1 and held a 10-point advantage through much of the first. Senior Carly Baumbaugh had six of her team-high 10 kills and two of her eight blocks in the first for the Jackets.

“The first game our girls had their composure and their focus and then we went into the second game and I told them not to celebrate the victory, to stay focused and keep going and step it up a little bit more,” Ferndale coach Kim Reighard said.

Added Crisafulli: “We just needed to settle down and get into our rhythm and make some serves because we missed some serves in that first game. Then we had to work the best that we could to control the tempo.”

The second game featured four ties in the early going with the final one at 9. The Cougars went ahead on five straight points off the serve of senior Kelli Putman, who finished with 21 service points and 13 assists.

“We pick on her because of how short she is, but that serve coming at you from different angles is hard to see sometimes and she’s been doing really well keeping the ball in play and being aggressive,” Crisafulli said.

In the third game, North Star poured it on, limiting the Jackets to just six points.

But the Jackets refused to go quietly, taking the early lead in the fourth game, 3-1. After a tie at 3, the Cougars again forged ahead, but Ferndale came right back to tie it again at 9 on a Justin Hrabosky kill. There were two more ties in the game, the final one at 18. North Star scored the final seven points with a Kayla Rice kill to end the match.

Rice finished with 13 kills while teammate Ellie Fleegle also had 13 and freshman Jackie Stanko added 10. Alexis Trevorrow added 12 service points and Courtney Schrock had 18 assists for the Cougars.

“There were a couple breakdowns in the passing game and it was enough to let a team like North Star capitalize on it,” Reighard said. “We just kind of lost our focus and couldn’t regain our composure. But North Star really stepped up their offense. Their defense was incredible the whole way through, I thought, and then they came on strong with the offense and we weren’t able to get our hands under the ball and dig the ball up. I give them a lot of credit for the consistency they played with and for us we were a little bit up and down. We tried to rally and pull it together but they struggled because of a couple of big kills by North Star.”

Senior setter Cassandra Vivis had 14 assists for Ferndale, which also got 11 digs from Carrie Rager.


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