By: Tim Birney | | September 1, 2022 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — Athens pulled out a close decision in the second set on its way to a season-opening sweep of Northeast Bradford here Thursday night in NTL volleyball action.

The Lady Wildcats won by scores of 25-20, 25-23, and 25-15.

“It’s a beautiful start to the season,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “The girls were extremely fired up.

“We definitely got the nervous jitters out of the way, and then I got to see some incredible plays and hitting I hadn’t seen before,” she noted.

“Jenny Ryan, one of our captains, did an excellent job running the floor, making it look incredibly easy, with 30 assists tonight and six of the eight girls getting multiple kills. This girl moves the ball!

“Sophomore Kassie Babcock had an incredible game tonight,” added Hanson. “If she wasn’t smashing the ball down, she was hitting the floor digging. It was incredible and so exciting to see Jenny and her connect like that.”

Ryan, a senior, led Athens with six points, four kills, two digs, and 30 setter assists, while Babcock had two points, six kills, and nine digs, and senior Audrey Clare had five points, a team-high seven kills, two assists, and two digs.

Senior Cassy Friend recorded four points, three kills, and three blocks, while senior Cailin McDaniel registered five kills and two digs, senior Braelynn Wood had six kills and a team-high 11 digs, and sophomore Ella Coyle added 10 digs.

Cassy Friend was a wall tonight, with three solo blocks and a ton of blocked balls that were kept in play, but definitely got the girls fired up,” said Hanson.

Cailin McDaniel showed control in her offense,” she noted. “Audrey Clare had solid hits and digs. When Audrey hits a ball the sound it makes is just the best! She played one heck of a game tonight.

“Braelynn Wood had amazing shots tonight,” continued Hanson. “She knew where the open spots were and focused on getting the ball there. Her ball control and ability to read hitters was awesome.

Ella Coyle and Braelynn (Wood) had double-digit digs tonight,” added Hanson. “Ella is starting to show her passion and hunger for getting that ball.  She is everywhere and showing that confidence and craziness only liberos show.”

Athens returns to action Tuesday at Canton.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).