September 6, 2022 Tim Birney

CANTON — Canton continued it strong early-season play, sweeping Athens here Tuesday night to improve to 3-0 in NTL volleyball action.

The Lady Warriors won by scores of 25-17, 25-17, and 25-21.

“Tonight was the Wildcats versus the Wildcats,” said Athens coach Heather Hanson. “If we got the serve over, then we couldn’t get the pass. If we got the pass, we couldn’t get the hit. There was no fun in our fundamentals tonight.

“Maybe it was having a three-day break and only practicing on Monday that got us,” noted Hanson. “These girls play hard and work hard. So do other teams, so we always need to rise to the occasion and be psyched up and we were not tonight.

“I am going to take my own advice with what I told the girl,” she added. “There is no sense dwelling on it. It will waste too much time and that time needs to be focused on getting reworked for CV (Thursday) and the Williamson Tournament this Saturday.

Jenny Ryan led Athens with 12 digs, 10 setter assists, four kills, and block, while Kassie Babcock had 10 digs, two kills, and one block, and Audrey Clare had three points, including two aces, seven kills, six digs, and two assists.

“Jenny Ryan played great tonight having a solo block as a 5-3 setter and being our top hitter,” said Hanson. “Kassie Babcock had some huge hits, getting some momentum going.”

Braelynn Wood four kills and eight digs for the Lady Wildcats, while Ella Coyle nine digs and two kills, and, Cailin McDaniel had two points, two kills, and one block.

Athens, now 1-1, hosts Cowanesque Valley Thursday.

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September 1, 2022 Tim Birney

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.

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