COVINGTON TWP. -- The medals just keep on coming for Holy Redeemer.
The Royals' seniors nabbed their fourth district gold Saturday, sweeping past Nanticoke in three sets in the District 2 Class 2A final at North Pocono High School. Holy Redeemer won 25-23, 25-13, 25-10.
This is the greatest feeling, Royals co-captain Biz Eaton said after winning a fourth district title.
The victory sends Redeemer back to the state tournament, where it will open play Tuesday at Dallas High School against District 4 champion Wellsboro. The first-round match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Saturday's match was a battle throughout the first set, as Nanticoke led most of the way. The Trojans put together an early run on Alex Brassington's serve to open a 7-4 edge. Nancy Adkins picked up a trio of points on her serve and Allie Matulewski did the same after Redeemer had pushed ahead to regain the lead for Nanticoke 22-21.
But the Royals used a strong service from Nicole Slavoski to take the lead for good in the first set, closing it out on a service error by Nanticoke.
I just told everyone that, obviously, she (Sydney Kotch) is important to us, Eaton said. We have depth, though, to get people in and be strong. I think that's a big part of our success, we're not just one or two players.
Momentum appeared to shift during a stoppage in the first set when Kotch was injured. She went for a dig on a kill by Matulewski and landed awkwardly on her left elbow, which she iced after the match.
The Royals libero left the match with her team down 18-16. Redeemer scored nine of the next 14 points to take the set.
I was going after the ball and hit my elbow, Kotch said. I was OK and went back in (in the second set). We're a really deep team, so I knew there wouldn't be a letdown.
The result of the opener set the tone for the rest of the match. Nanticoke struggled to string together points after the first set, getting three consecutive points on serves just once in the final two games.
That first game, we played really together and took our time, Trojans coach Deb Krupinski said. Offensively, defensively. We moved well in the first game and passed great. The second game, our passing went downhill. Our serves went downhill.
I'm very proud of these girls. They got through a tough league to get to this game.
Redeemer thrived after escaping the first set, as Eaton piled up 29 assists, setting up a variety of teammates for kills. In the final game, Slavoski's kill made it 15-7. Lauren Slavoski's kill made it 19-8. Alyssa Platko ran it to 22-8, as the Royals picked up seven straight points on Kotch's serve.
That was on purpose, Royals coach Jack Kablick said of the varied offense by his club. Normally, we're looking for Sarah (Warnagiris, 16 kills) and Nicole (10 kills). But Alyssa Platko (five kills), Lauren Slavoski is only a freshman – she's going to be a stud – and Casey Carty came up big for us.
Kellan Katra shined on serve for Redeemer with 10 service points and Kaya Swanek added seven.
Holy Redeemer 3,
Nanticoke: Kayley Schinski 5 kills, 5 digs; Alex Brassington 12 assists, 2 kills, 1 ace; Allie Matulewski 3 kills, 3 digs. Holy Redeemer: Sarah Warnagiris 16 kills, 3 digs; Sydney Kotch 6 digs, 15 service points; Nicole Slavoski 10 kills, 4 digs, 3 assists; Biz Eaton 29 assists, 8 digs, 2 kills; Alyssa Platko 5 kills; Casey Carty 3 kills.