Athens senior Taylor Field and head coach Heather Hanson
received top postseason honors, and three Lady Wildcats — seniors Leah
Liechty, Kayleigh Miller, and Kylie Jayne — earned all-star accolades
recently in voting by the NTL volleyball coaches.
Field was voted “Defensive Co-MVP,” while Hanson was named “Co-Coach of the Year.”
North Penn-Liberty standout Charisma Grega was named the NTL Most Valuable Player, while Cowanesque Valley’s Makayla Vargeson was voted the league’s “Offensive MVP,” and Canton’s Annie Gaiotti was named the league’s “Utility Player.”
Field shared the defensive honor with NP-L’s Ali Koval, and Hanson shared the top coaching honor with Canton’s Sheila Wesneski, who directed the Lady Warriors to their fourth straight District 4 title, and the state quarterfinals.
Field led the Lady Wildcats with 427 digs, including the 1,000th of her career, and 346 serve-receives. She also had 111 service points, including 27 service aces, to go along with three kills and three setter assists.
Hanson led Athens to its third consecutive postseason appearance in her third year with the program, taking the Lady Wildcats to the finals of the District 2-4 Sub-Regionals. Hanson has 31 wins in three years.
Leah Liechty, senior, Athens: A powerful middle hitter, Liechty led the Lady Wildcats with 203 kills and 38 blocks, including 29 solo blocks. She also had 74 service points,including 17 aces, 44 setter assists, and 37 digs.
Kayleigh Miller, senior, Athens: A sure-handed and smooth setter, Miller dished out 421 setter assists to top 1,000 for her career. She also had 150 service points, including 28 aces, 137 digs, and four blocks
Also named to the first team were Wellsboro’s Breighanna Kemp and Bailey Monks, Towanda’s Paige Manchester, and NP-L’s Julia Nawri.
Kylie Jayne, senior, Athens: One of the most improved front-row players in the league, Jayne registered 197 kills, and 27 blocks. She also had 18 points, including eight aces, and 12 digs.
Also named to the second team were Wellsboro’s Shiloh Duff and Katherine Burnett, Towanda’s DeLanie Pepper, and NP-L’s Darby Stetler and Lizzie Kahl.
ATHENS — The Athens volleyball program honored a pair of seniors —
Kayleigh Miller and Taylor Field — here Monday afternoon for their
milestone achievements late this season.
Miller recorded her 1,000th career setter assist, and Field registered her 1,000th career dig in a win over Tunkhannock in the quarterfinals of the District 2-4 Sub-Regional playoffs last Monday.
Miller had 3,366 ball-handling attempts in her career and logged 1,033 assists. She also had a 96.8 serving percentage in 647 serve attempts.
“Kayleigh is a natural leader, who definitely stepped into her captain roll this year making sure to keep the team focused and driven,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson.
“This accomplishment is absolutely incredible and what this means is this girl ran her butt off to get every single second ball set up to make a play, and not just setting it up, but finding the hitter that was going to make a kill,” added Hanson. “Not only do you need strong hitters, you need someone that is going to get you a pass.”
Field, who also topped 1,000 serve-receptions in her career, and Miller worked hand-in-hand in achieving their career milestones.
“Taylor had 1038 serve-receptions in her three years as libero,” said Hanson. “That means each time the ball is served Taylor was able to find a way to pass it to the setter. That’s an average of five serve receive-passes a set.
“She also had 1,023 digs,” noted Hanson. “This means that each time the ball was attacked by the opposing team, Taylor was able to dig the ball and make it playable. Without this ball control, it is incredibly difficult to have an offense.
“It all works together and no one skill is alone,” continued Hanson. “You can't have a good set without a good pass. You can't have a great kill without a good set.
“The one skill that is done completely on your own is serving,” added Hanson. “Kayleigh serving 96 percent in her three years on varsity is nothing short of phenomenal. She was so great at getting serves over it was more noticeable when she missed, because that rarely happened.”
BERWICK — Berwick’s 6-1 sophomore middle hitter Cece Isenberg
neutralized Athens’ biggest strength, and 5-10 sophomore Sarah Steeber
was nearly unstoppable on the outside as the top-seeded and unbeaten
Lady Bulldogs ended the Lady Wildcats season here Thursday night in the
championship match of the District 2-4 Sub-Regional volleyball playoffs.
Berwick, now 16-0, won by scores of 25-14, 25-15, and 25-18.
Isenberg had 13 kills and four blocks, while Steeber had 13 kills on the outside.
“It was definitely different than anything we’ve experienced this year,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson of Isenberg’s presence in the middle. “That’s the first team we’ve faced that very strong in the middle.
“We knew that coming in, though, I think we just weren’t use to playing against that,” she added. “And, we were much too timid.”
Isenberg’s presence in the middle also helped Steeber on the outside.
“(Berwick) has a great offense,” said Hanson. “I’ve been trying to get my girls to do tandems, which is faking — going in and being convincing that you’re holding the block, so the outside (hitter) can have an opening.
“Berwick did that to us all night,” she noted. “They used their middles, so our middles would stay with their middles, then they set outside. It was good stuff for them.
“(Steeber) had good looks,” added Hanson. “She either had a single block, or a hole in the block. Berwick just ran a great offense.”
Berwick controlled the first set from the outset, taking an 8-1 lead early. Athens trimmed the deficit to 11-7, but the Lady Bulldogs quickly stretched their advantage to 16-8, then 24-11 with a pair of long service runs.
“They got some run on us, and all the sudden we couldn’t pass,” said Hanson. “I could feel the nerves the first game. It was a different atmosphere, and a big stage — it was different.”
Athens used a pair of service points by junior Taylor Walker to take a 3-1 lead early in the second set — their first lead of the night, and led 4-3, but a five-point service run gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead, and they never trailed again.
The Lady Wildcats tied the set at 9-9, and trailed 11-10, but at 14-11, sophomore Camille Pinterich reeled off nine straight points, which included three service aces and two kills and two blocks by Isenberg, to take a commanding 23-11 lead.
Athens played its best volleyball in the third set, leading 15-14 before Berwick took over.
“The girls never gave up,” said Hanson. “We played much better in the third (set).”
Senior Kayleigh Miller led Athens with 23 setter assists and 11 digs, while senior Leah Liechty had nine kills and four blocks, senior Kylie Jayne registered 10 kills, and senior Taylor Field had 23 digs.
“Thank God for Taylor Field tonight,” said Hanson. “She did not let a ball hit the floor, without putting her whole body out there.”
Walker had a team-high nine service points, to go along with eight digs and three service aces for the Lady Wildcats, while sophomore Jenny Ryan had four points, seven digs and three kills, junior Ally Martin added four digs, and senior Grayce Witherow chipped in with three digs.
Morgan Nevel led Berwick with 28 assists and 11 digs, while Pinterich had 15 service points, including six aces, and 18 digs, and Erin Hess added six points, including two aces, and nine digs.
Isenberg also had nine points and five digs, and Steeber collected 11 digs.
Hanson tipped her cap to Berwick, but doesn’t believe her team played its best.
“I have a tough time saying any other team is good, but they were very good,” said Hanson. “They had a winning mentality, and didn’t let us go on any runs.
“Had we been the team we were against Tunkhannock and Greater Nanticoke, this would have been a different (match),” she added. “I don’t know if we would have won, but if would have been a much better fight.”
Hanson’s Lady Wildcats, playing in the program’s first District finals since 2005, end the season at 12-7.
“I am so proud of these girls,” she said. “There were many, many times we could have been done, and they kept fighting.
““We’ve had the craziest schedule I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” noted Hanson. “There were times I didn’t want to go to a game — it was like ‘another road trip, back-to-back-to-back,’ but the girls said ‘let’s do this.’ It was tough, but the girls were strong.
“They were pumped for this volleyball season,” added Hanson. “They set goals and they achieved nearly all of them.”
Hanson bids adieu to seven seniors — Field, Liechty, Martin, Miller, Witherow, Perry, and Kim Wheeler.
“It’s going to be very tough to lose this whole group of girls.
“Since I started here, they played travel ball, they showed up to al the open gyms, and they showed up to all the weight lifting sessions in the offseason,” said Hanson. “It was so much more than playing volleyball during the season, they put in a ton of work in the offseason, and that’s why got here.
“They have set a new standard for Athens volleyball, that’s for sure,” added Hanson.
The Lady Wildcats return just three players — Walker, Ryan, and Martin — in 2021. Despite a sub-.500 record, Hanson believes she’ll have the talent she needs from the JV team to keep the program on the winning track.
“I see tons of potential.
“First, it all about who’s going show up in the offseason,” said Hanson. “And, what are going to be able to do? What is Covid going to let us do?
“Once that’s all clear and we get back to close to normal, and I can have open gyms, there is a ton of potential on that JV team to work with, it just didn’t come together this year.
“I know I have my work cut out for me, but I love underdog stories,” added Hanson. “I love a challenge.”
TUNKHANNOCK — Seventh-seed Athens was dominant at the net, and nearly
flawless at the service line in a sweep of sixth-seed Tunkhannock here
Monday evening in the semifinals of the District 2-4 Sub-Regional
The Lady Wildcats will travel to Berwick Thursday for the championship match. It’s their first trip to a District finals since 2005.
The win was anti-climactic in comparison to last week’s five-set upset of second-seeded Greater Nanticoke, but Athens coach Heather Hanson didn’t mind.
“This was a little easier on my heart,” said Hanson. “I’m really happy with how the girls are playing.
“It was a little quiet,” she noted. “I think they were expecting it to be loud like Nanticoke was, and it was not at all, so we had to find it within ourself.
“The girls did well against a team we’ve never played before — typical when we play a team we haven’t played before, it’s hard for us to adjust, and we can be timid,” added Hanson. “I’m glad they got that our of the way early, and were able to dominate.”
The Athens hitters combined for 37 kills, led by seniors Leah Liechty and Kylie Jayne, who combined for 25.
“I’m so happy our hitters are peaking at the right time,” said Hanson. “They’re all gaining confidence, and they were in a groove tonight.
“We’ve had a strong middle game (Liechty and Jayne) the whole season,” she noted. “Now, we have our outsides (Taylor Walker and Ally Martin) stepping up.
“And, Jenny Ryan, who is typically a setter, has really stepped into the right-side position and has been dominating,” added Hanson.
The Lady Wildcats were successful on 64 of their 68 service attempts in the match, including a perfect 25-for-25 in the first first set.
“Our serves definitely set the tone for us,” said Hanson. “If we’re on, we’re tough to beat.
“It shows we’re focused and confident,” she noted. “When we serve well, everything else seems to fall into place.”
“And, Taylor Walker has been serving amazing the last few games. “added Hanson. “She had four aces tonight — beautiful.”
Athens took the lead for good early in the first set, at 8-3, on a six-point service run by junior Taylor Walker, which began with an ace and included a pair of kills by Jayne.
Tunkhannock closed the gap to 12-11, but a pair of service points by Liechty pushed the back to 15-11.
Moments later, Miller reeled off six straight service points, with Walker finishing off two points with kills, to give the Lady Wildcats a 21-13 lead.
Walker finished off the set with three points, with Ryan and Jayne polishing off the final two points with kills, for a 25-15 win.
The second set was close in the early going, with Tunkhannock taking the biggest lead at 13-10.
A side-out and two service points by Taylor tied the match at 13-13.
After the teams traded side-outs, senior Taylor Field served up four straight points, thanks in part to a pair of kills by Liechty, to give the Lady Wildcats an 18-14 lead.
Moments later, sophomore Jenny Ryan’s kill gave Athens the serve back with a 19-16 lead. She then served up three points, with junior Ally Martin and Liechty ending the first two points with kills, and Ryan serving an ace to end the mini-run that upped the lead to 22-16.
After trading side-outs, Martin gave Athens a 24-17 lead with a serve, but Tunkhannock regained the serve with a side-out.
Moments later, Liecthy ended the second set with a hard kill to give Athens a 25-18 win.
The Lady Wildcats didn’t have any long service runs in the third set, but steadily build a 15-8 lead. Tunkhannock trimmed the lead to 18-15, but never got any closer.
Jayne ended the match with a kill to give the Lady Wildcats a 25-19 victory and a trip to the Sub-Regional finals.
Miller led Athens with 32 setter assists, 11 digs, nine service points, and two service aces.
“Kayleigh Miller moved the ball around great tonight and kept everyone intense,” said Hanson. “Not only does she run to get every ball, she also plays incredible defense — it’s so impressive.
“She has been setting since I started coaching here,” noted Hanson. “She is a leader on the floor, and is great at communicating with who she is setting up, so the girls never get confused.”
Field recorded 28 digs in the win, while Ryan had 17 digs, three kills and two assists, and Walker registered 12 points, 11 digs, four aces, and four kills.
Liechty registered 13 kills and five digs for the Lady Wildcats, while Jayne knocked down 12 kills, Martin had five digs and four kills, and seniors Grayce Witherow and Gia Perry added five and three digs, respectively.
NANTICOKE, Pa. — Seventh-seeded Athens won the first two sets, but
needed to rally in the fifth set to pull out a thrilling 3-2 win over
second-seeded Greater Nanticoke in the quarterfinals of the District 2-4
Sub-Regional volleyball playoffs.
The Lady Wildcats won decisions of 25-23 and 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead, but the Lady Trojans pulled out hard-fought 26-24 and 25-23 wins to even the match. In the decisive fifth set, Athens trailed by two points on three different occasions before rallying for a 15-12 win.
“The girls found a way to win, like they always do,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “I am so proud of them right now.
“To win the first two, then lose the next two, that is terrifying — to pull out that fifth set says so much about these girls,” added Hanson. “It’s a huge win for us.”
Hanson also notes her team overcame an Internet scouting attempt that went awry.
“We had no idea what we were coming up against.
“We had watched them on live stream, but I think it may have been their JV team because when we got here, they were all 6-feet tall,” laughed Hanson. “So, it had to be about us playing our own game, and not worrying about what they do.
“(Nanticoke is a good team. They were impressive,” she noted. “They were running their backside a lot, which we don’t see a lot of in the NTL. It was a different style of play from what we’re use to.
“The girls adjusted, though,” she added. “I’m beyond ecstatic with them.”
Greater Nanticoke jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the first set, but a five-point service run by senior Taylor Field, which featured one ace and three kills by senior Leah Liecthy, gave Athens an 8-7 lead.
The teams had just one service point apiece during the next service rotation and the score was tied at 14-14, until a six-point service run by Rylie Lewis gave the Lady Trojans a 20-14 lead.
After a side-out, Field served up three more points to trim the deficit to 20-18.
On Greater Nanticoke’s ensuing serve, Athens sophomore Jenny Ryan placed a perfect push shot from the net for a side-out to trim the deficit to 21-19.
Ryan then served up two points, including an ace and a kill by junior Ally Martin, to tie the first set at 21-21.
After an Athens side-out, Greater Nanticoke extended its lead to 23-21, before the Lady Wildcats took back the serve when the Lady Trojans were whistled for “two hands” on a set.
Trailing 23-22, Martin served up an ace to tie the score. On Martin’s next serve, junior Taylor Walker registered a kill to give the Lady Wildcats a 24-23 lead.
The return of Walker’s next serve ended up a bit long, and Liechty tipped the ball straight down to give the Lady Wildcats a 25-23 win.
The Lady Wildcats took a quick 4-0 lead in the second set, thanks to a side-out and a three-point service run by senior Kayleigh Miller.
Athens stretched its lead to 11-4, then took its biggest lead at 15-7. Greater Nanticoke closed the gap to five points — at 18-13 and 19-14, but could get no closer.
Walker registered a kill for a GN side-out to give the Lady Wildcats a 24-18, then closed out the match with a kill after a Miller serve to finish off a 25-18 win.
“We overcame a few mistakes in the first two sets, and pulled out the wins,” said Hanson. “We played pretty well.”
The Lady Trojans never trailed in the third set. They led 19-14, but two serves by Walker tied the score at 24-24.
After a side-out, Athens had an unforced error to give Greater Nanticoke a 26-24 win.
The Lady Wildcats led 1-0 and 4-3 in the fourth set, but the Lady Trojans rallied to take an 8-6 lead, then stretched its advantage to 18-9.
After a side-out, Walker reeled off five straight service points to cut the deficit to 18-15.
The Lady Trojans built their lead back to 22-16, but a four-point service run by Martin, which included three kills by Liechty, tied the score at 23-23.
After a side-out, an Athens hitting error gave the Lady Trojans a 25-23 win in the fourth set.
“The key is how do you overcome errors?” said Hanson. “In volleyball, you have to shake it off.
“You can’t put about it, or dwell on it , or you dig yourself a five- or-six point hole, and that’s what we did in the third and fourth sets,” she added.
Greater Nanticoke had leads of 2-0, 5-3, and 7-5 in the fifth set, but Athens rallied to tie the score at 8-8.
A service ace by Liechty, and a kill by Jayne on her next serve gave the Lady Wildcats the lead for good at 10-8.
A kill by Jayne gave Athens the serve back with an 11-9 lead. Jayne finished off Miller’s first serve with a kill, and her second with a block to give the Lady Wildcats a 13-9 lead.
After a side-out, Greater Nanticoke trimmed the Athens lead to 13-11, but a long kill attempt gave Athens the serve with a 14-11 lead.
The Lady Trojans forced a side-out, but on their first serve, Miller set Jayne, and her kill gave the Lady Wildcats the win.
Hanson said she used her timeouts early in the fifth set in an attempt to settle her team down. She was 50-percent effective.
“During the first timeout, I was pumped up, and gave them the ‘let’s go,” and that didn’t motivate them,” she laughed.
“During the second timeout, I told them to relax,” Hanson noted. “I know that’s what works with this team, but at times I get too excited as a coach, and that gets them excited. I had to calm down, and calm them down.
“This is the most intense match we’ve been in, in terms of timeouts back-and-forth,” added Hanson. “This is the first match where we’ve had to strategize our time outs to stop momentum. There weren’t a lot of major runs.”
Miller registered 51 setter assists, 23 digs, and three service aces for the Lady Wildcats, and Walker had 13 digs, 11 kills, and four aces.
“Kayleigh Miller has just been so steady, so consistent for us,” said Hanson. “And, Taylor Walker’s serves and hits were phenomenal again tonight — she is peaking at the right time.”
Liechty registered 22 kills and two aces, while Ryan recorded 14 kills, 20 digs, four assists, and two aces, and Jayne put down 17 kills.
“We have this middle going on with Leah Liechty and Kylie Jayne, and they are amazing,” said Hanson. I keep telling (setter) Kayleigh (Miller) to keep going to the middles
“Our outsides are coming along, but I always want to run the middles.”
Several of Ryan’s kills in the early-going were touch shots to open spaces.
“She’s been practicing those shots every game, and finally she found a team it works against,“ said Hanson. “I told her if it’s working, keep going to it.”
Field tallied 37 digs, including several of the diving and one-handed variety, and and two aces.
“That’s T-Field, she always makes plays to keep the ball alive that make you shake your head,” said Hanson. “We see that out of her all the time.
“I’m so proud of her,” added Hanson. “She trained as a setter her entire life, and then I came in and needed a libero. I asked her, and she sacrificed everything to do it.”
Senior Grayce Witherow added nine digs, and Martin had four kills, three digs, and two aces.
Athens, now 11-6, returns to action Monday at third-seeded Tunkhannock in the District 2-4 Sub-Regional semifinals.
ATHENS — Wyalusing took advantage of three costly errors in a row to
take the first set, but Athens responded with three dominant wins in a
regular-season closing 3-1 win here Monday night in NTL volleyball
The Lady Rams won the first set 25-22 on three consecutive unforced errors to end the match by Athens, but the Lady Wildcats answered with wins of 25-9, 25-9, and 25-15.
“It was a rough start, then we woke up,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “That’s volleyball sometimes. I'm glad they were able to turn it around and play some Wildcat volleyball.
The girls have set a standard of play for themselves, so they know when its time to pick it up,” she noted. “There was incredible play by everyone tonight.
“The biggest highlight is serving 95 out of 98 serves,” added Hanson. “That’s some focus right there. Shout out to all the girls, the whole team supporting one another.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller had 32 setter assists, 15 digs, four service aces, and two kills to lead Athens, while senior Kylie Jayne registered 17 kills and two digs, senior Leah Liechty had 12 kills and three digs, and senior Taylor Field recorded 29 digs and two aces.
Sophomore Jenny Ryan had 14 digs, four kills and three assists for the Lady Wildcats, while junior Taylor Walker had six digs, four aces, and three kills, junior Ally Martin had six kills, two aces, and two digs, senior Grayce Witherow added nine digs, and senior Kim Wheeler chipped in with two digs and one kill
Athens finishes the regular season at 10-6, and will face Greater Nanticoke Thursday at 5 p.m. in the opening round of the District 2-4 Sub-Regional playoffs.
“I can’t believe this was the last game of the regular season,” said Hanson. “This team is so special and incredible. Thank goodness for the playoffs to keep it going.”
TOWANDA — Athens sailed to a 3-0 win over Towanda here Thursday night in NTL volleyball action to sweep the season series.
The Lady Wildcats, now 8-6, won by sores of 25-11, 25-11, and 25-14.
“That one day of practice helped the girls fine-tune a few things and they played great tonight,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson.
Senior Kayleigh Miller led Athens with 40 setter assists, eight digs, four service aces, and three kills, while junior Taylor Walker registered 12 kills and 10 digs, and senior Taylor Field recorded 25 digs.
Taylor Walker had an incredible game,” said Hanson. “We had three hitters get double-digit kills tonight. That makes me very happy.
“Taylor Field’s defense was beautiful, she is so graceful and relentless out there,” noted Hanson. “And, Kayleigh Miller guided the team with fantastic sets and got to every second ball.
Senior Leah Liechty had 11 kills, two aces, and two digs, while senior Kylee Jayne knocked down 11 kills, sophomore Jenny Ryan had eight kills, two digs, and two assists, junior Ally Martin added five kills and three digs, and seniors Grayce Witherow and Gia Perry chipped in with 13 and five digs, respectively.
“Grayce Witherow had some outstanding digs in the back row and was very aggressive on defense,” said Hanson.
Athens hosts Wyalusing Monday, and wraps up the regular season Tuesday at Wellsboro.
TROY — Athens bounced back from a “disheartening” five-set loss at NEB
Monday, with a sweep of Troy here Tuesday night in NTL Large School
The Lady Wildcats won by scores of 25-22, 25-14, and 26-24.
“The girls figured it out tonight, they played as a team,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “The girls made this game a team-building exercise.
“The slow starts, being down by five, giving up the lead several times, communication errors, and running into each other are all things that have contributed to us losing,” noted Hanson. “Tonight, the girls learned a little bit about depending on each other and were able to overcome the negatives that have gotten us the past three (matches).”
Hanson was also excited to have fans in attendance.
“Oh my gosh, what a loud crowd and awesome atmosphere,” she said. “You forget what it feels like! It was incredible to feel the love and hear the cheers and chanting from both sides. And this was just allowing two spectators per player.
“I know it means the world to the girls to have their biggest supporters cheering them on and I am so thankful and grateful to the Troy School District for letting the away team have spectators,” added Hanson. “And thanks to the Athens Board of Education for allowing us to have two spectators per player at the next home games coming up.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller led Athens with 24 setter assists, 16 digs, and two service aces, while sophomore Jenny Ryan had 11 digs and four kills, and junior Taylor Walker had 11 digs, four aces, and three kills.
Seniors Kylie Jayne and Leah Liechty registered 11 and 10 kills, respectively, , while senior Taylor Field recorded 13 digs and two kills, and junior Ally Martin added dix aces, four kills, and four digs.
Athens, now 8-6, returns to action Thursday when it hosts Towanda.
“I’m so pumped to have an actual practice tomorrow,” said Hanson. “It’s been a busy schedule of play, play, play, with no time to correct errors, or make adjustments. And, of course, my favorite, get back to basics and discipline.”
LERAYSVILLE — Northeast Bradford took a different route to get there,
but in the end prevailed in another five-set thriller over Athens here
Monday night in NTL volleyball action.
The Lady Wildcats pulled out a pair of close sets — 27-25 and 25-23, but the Lady Panthers re-grouped and won the final three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-17, and 15-7.
Athens coach Heather Hanson said the night was a mixed bag for her team.
“The first two games were really close, and we pulled out wins ,which proved to me we are getting mentally tough.
“Then, the third game hit and our errors dug us into too many holes,” said Hanson. “It’s discouraging
(No stats available.)
Athens, now 7-6, returns to action Tuesday at Troy.
LIBERTY — Nine days ago, Athens took the first set from unbeaten North
Penn-Liberty, but dropped the next three. Thursday’s NTL volleyball
match was a near carbon copy.
The Lady Wildcats logged a 25-16 win in the first set, but NP-L, a state runner-up last season, bounced back to win the next three sets by scores of 25-20, 25-12, and 25-21.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at Athens, but the NP-L school district refuses to play any events in Bradford County, forcing Athens to make a choice: cancel the match, or travel to Liberty for the second time in nine days.
“It was one heck of a journey of rescheduling, getting a bus, and changing plans,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “It was our third game in three nights.
“The girls.played amped up and awesome,” noted Hanson. :”It was great to watch them step.up.
“I’m not worried about the loss because the improvement is incredible,” she added. “This loss is going to help us a ton.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller had 31 setter assists and 13 digs, and senior Taylor Field recorded 16 digs to lead Athens, while senior Leah Liechty registered 14 kills, and sophomore Jenny Ryan had 16 digs, seven kills, three assists, and two service aces.
Junior Taylor Walker had 11 digs, three kills and two aces for the Lady Wildcats, while senior Kylie Jayne put down nine kills, senior Grayce Witherow added seven digs and two aces, and junior Ally Martin chipped in with four kills, two aces, and two digs.
WELLSBORO — Just 24 hours after a five-set loss at Athens, Wellsboro
swept the Lady Wildcats here Wednesday night in NTL volleyball action.
The Lady Hornets opened with a 25-14 win in the first set, rallied for a 25-22 win in the second set, and closed out the match with a 25-19.
“We couldn't put it all together enough times to get a win,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “It was another roller-coaster night of play.
“We did a lot of things right tonight, we just made errors at crucial moments,” added Hanson. “We played as a team, and lost as a team.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller dished out 26 setter assists and recorded 11 digs, and senior Leah Liechty registered 13 kills and four digs to lead the Lady Wildcats, and senior Taylor Field recorded 22 digs and two aces.
Senior Kylie Jayne knocked down 11 saves, while sophomore Jenny Ryan had six digs, four kills, and two assists, junior Taylor Walker had five digs, senior Grayce Witherow had four digs, junior Ally Martin added three kills, and senior Gia Perry chipped in with three digs.
The Lady Wildcats, now 7-4, returns to action Thursday against unbeaten North Penn-Liberty. The match was originally scheduled for Athens, but NP-L refused to play in Athens, so Athens will travel there for the second time in nine days.
“We have another road trip tomorrow and I give these girls kudos,” said Hanson. “That’s ome heck of a lot of games, traveling and mental focus in three days.
“No matter what, this team is an awesome team to coach,” she added. “I am inspired by the hard work and persistence they put into everything. It’s going to happen for them.”
ATHENS — In a back-and-forth affair, Athens prevailed in a five-set
marathon over Wellsboro here Tuesday night in NTL volleyball action.
The Lady Green Hornets opened with a 25-18 win in the first set, but the Lady Wildcats bounced back with wins of 25-21, and 25-18. Wellsboro forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-11 win in the fourth set.
Athens closed out the win with a 15-11 decision in the fifth set.
“We got off to a slow start and the match was a little bit of a roller-coaster ride … and I’m not even
sure what happened the fourth game,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “However, with the random runs of errors they turned it around and fought back.
“Wellsboro did not let us get first-swing kills, we had to fight and rally and keep going,” noted Hanson. “Both teams fought hard it was a relentless match.
“Now, we see them (Wednesday) at their house,” she added. “I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller had 43 setter assists, 12 digs, and three service aces, and senior Leah Liechty registered 26 kills and three aces to lead the Lady Wildcats, while senior Taylor Field recorded 26 digs, and sophomore Jenny Ryan had 11 kills and three digs.
Senior Kylie Jayne had 10 kills in the win, while junior Taylor Walker had seven digs and two aces, senior Grayce Witherow added five digs, and two aces, and junior Ally Martin chipped in with four kills and four digs.
Athens, now 7-3, travels to Wellsboro (6-2) Wednesday night.
TOWANDA — Athens bounced back from a four-set loss at North Penn-Liberty
Tuesday, with a sweep of Towanda here Thursday night in NTL Large
School volleyball action.
Last year, Athens twice won the first two sets against Towanda, only to lose the next three.
The Lady Wildcats won by scores 25-18, 25-18, and 25-19.
Athens coach Heather Hanson was pleased with her team’s poise and concentration.
“I’m glad we didn't give them a set, it’s something we’ve been working on.
“It was deathly silent in the gym, so the girls did great dealing with it and trying their best to make noise.,” noted Hanson.
Senior Leah Liechty led the Lady Wildcats, registering 17 kills and two assists.
“Leah Liechty was on fire tonight,” said Hanson. “It was great to see.”
Senior Kayleigh Miller had 36 setter assists, 12 digs, and two service aces for Athens, while senior Taylor Field recorded 19 digs and two aces, senior Kylie Jayne had 10 kills, five digs, and three aces, and junior Ally Martin had seven kills, four digs, and three aces.
Sophomore Jenny Ryan had seven digs, four kills, and three aces in the win, while junior Taylor Walker had five kills, four digs, and three aces, senior Grace Witherow added seven digs, and senior Gia Perry chipped in with three digs.
DaLanie Pepper led Towanda with five service points, 15 assists, nine digs, and two kills, while Paige Manchester had seven points, nine kills, thee blocks, and six digs, Grace Schoonover registered nine kills and four blocks, Blaze Wood added seven digs and thee kills, and Amanda Horton chipped in with two points and seven digs.
Athens, now 6-3, hosts Wellsboro Tuesday.
WAVERLY - River Road Media Group, parent company of Valley Sports Report, and Circle W Sports announced a partnership Sunday with the Athens Area School District to provide an athletic web site for all Wildcat sports.