WILKES-BARRE ‚?? As soon as they broke the postgame huddle, Maria Chinakaylo patted Danae Sutliff on the back.
The Lake-Lehman duo had just finished taking over the match, keeping the Black Knights‚?? chances alive in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Chinakaylo rallied the Golden Knights through a tough spot in the first set, and Sutliff dominated the third with six kills alone as Lehman skimmed past gritty GAR 3-0 Wednesday in a WVC girls‚?? volleyball match. Game scores were 25-22, 25-16, 25-15.
Lehman (6-4) remains in the hunt with a big match looming with North Pocono on Monday.
‚??We know what the standings are right now, and we know that we have to win almost every game. We are trying to stay together and work hard. Hopefully, good things will happen,‚?Ě Chinakaylo said. ‚??I think everyone would like to be up a little higher, and would love to see us with a better record. But we are going to keep playing and try to push toward the top.‚?Ě
Credit the Lehman setter for digging her squad out of a tough spot.
The Black Knights took a 5-0 lead right from the opening whistle, only to see GAR string together a 10-2 run for an early 10-7 lead.
Tied at 14, she won four straight points on her serve ‚?? and Lehman kept that four-point edge throughout the game as Chinakaylo hit an open area on the GAR side of the court for the game-clinching tally.
‚??I think we kind of got down a little bit in that first set when they got a nice run, but we were able to stick together as a team,‚?Ě Chinakaylo said. ‚??We work well as a team.‚?Ě
GAR (2-8) found itself stuck on certain numbers in the remaining sets.
In the second, it was 13. The Grenadiers were only down 15-13, but kills by Bethany Williams and Lexi Oplinger sparked a 6-0 spurt.
Seven was the unlucky mark for Deanna Roulinavage‚??s club in the third. Again down by three, Lehman used another 6-0 run for a comfortable, nine-point edge. Plus, it didn‚??t help that Sutliff was unconscious with six kills, one ace and four digs.
‚??Danae did a heck of a job in that third set,‚?Ě Lehman head coach Kevin Koziol said. ‚??We take a little longer than I would like before we adjust to teams. GAR came out to play, and it took us some time to respond. Getting a win is nice, but I would rather play our best regardless of the score. I don‚??t think that was the case today.‚?Ě
GAR tried to spark a rally in the second set as three straight kills by Brittany Stephenson cut it to 22-16. Even Julianna Leco attempted to keep the match alive in the third, winning three straight points behind the service line, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
‚??Every time we hit, they were there to dig it. We tried to hit away from them, but it kept going right to them,‚?Ě Roulinavage said. ‚??I felt good after that first set because we were right there. But the inexperience began to set in. It showed in the final two sets. We are still working on that chemistry because at times, I think they are uncertain about how they play. Give it a little time, and I believe that this team could be pretty strong. We have a lot of young players out there. Once we start playing the hits better, we will be a lot stronger.‚?Ě
Chinakaylo, who finished with a game-high 30 assists, did a nice job of spreading the offense between four hitters. Sutliff had 16 kills, while Williams added 12. Oplinger and Brittany Acevado combined for 13 kills.
Stephenson and Jocelyne Vazquez each had four kills for GAR, and teammate Banessa Flores added 12 assists and four aces.
‚??Every win is going to be important for us. To be honest, I feel that we have to win the remainder of our games to be in the mix,‚?Ě Koziol said.
LL: Maria Chinakaylo (30 assists, 16 service points, 6 aces); Danae Sutliff (16 kills, 6 digs, 7 service points); Bethany Williams (12 kills, 8 service points); Amy Williams (7 digs)
GAR: Brittany Stephenson (4 kills, 1 ace); Jocelyne Vazquez (4 kills); Banessa Flores (12 assists, 4 aces)
The Comets finished off a sweep on the road.
Amanda Fuller had six kills and six digs for the Hawkeyes.
CRE: Not reported
HAN: Kim Ozmina 10 digs, 6 assists; Amanda Fuller 6 kills, 6 digs; Heather Grady 10 digs
Taylor Braunagle led the Warriors‚?? sweep with 13 kills.
Tanner Englehart paced Dallas with a strong all-around performance.
: Tanner Englehart 3 kills, 3 blocks, 2 digs, 2 service points, 1 ace; Lauren Jones, 5 assists.
DV: Taylor Braunagle 13 kills, 6 service points, 2 blocks, 1 ace; Cassidy Cohen 9 kills, 6 service points, 5 assists; Alyssa Kelley 6 service points, 6 kills, 3 blocks.
Kaitlyn Ivanoss led the way with four kills for the host Trojans, who cruised to a sweep of the Patriots.
: Jacquelin Rabender 1 service point, 8 digs, 1 kill, 5 assists; Tiffany Smith 7 digs, 3 kills; Irene Magdon 2 aces, 7 digs, 1 assist.
NP: Kaitlyn Ivanoss 4 kills; Sydney Spott 11 service points, 4 aces; Alea Troup 9 service points, 1 ace.