LEHMAN TWP. — The unbeaten Dallas girls volleyball team faced its biggest deficit of the season.
Coach Mike Shmakov called the second of his two allotted timeouts in the second set of Wednesday’s match at rival Lake-Lehman, but, as his team huddled, Shmakov was not about to make any major changes.
“My thing as a coach is, when somebody’s struggling, I’m going to keep those girls in,” Shmakov said after the Mountaineers rallied for 13 of the final 14 points in the second game of a 25-16, 25-22, 25-12 Wyoming Valley Conference victory. “They’re not going to escape the court just because they’re having a bad day.
“They’re going to push through it and they know that, too, whether they’re having their worst day or their best day. … That’s the kind of characteristic I want in a volleyball player.”
Push through it they did.
The Mountaineers did more than just stay unbeaten at 8-0. They kept intact their record of winning every match this year by a three-game sweep.
Lake-Lehman (6-4) jumped in front, 7-2, in the middle game, convincing Shmakov to use his first timeout. The Black Knights built the lead to 14-7, leading to the second.
At that point, the Dallas players were on their own to work through the on-court difficulties as Lake-Lehman pushed the margin as high as 21-12 on one of Macenzi Barker’s nine kills in the match.
Serving specialist Lyndsey Hornlein substituted in for four points, the last of which came on an ace to make it 21-17.
Barker halted that little run, but Dallas was not stopped again.
Gianna Musto served the game’s last seven points while Sam Michael and Shelby Carr took care of things at the net.
“We just had more energy and we just started trusting each other more,” said Musto, who had 11 kills, 12 service points and 10 digs in the win. “That’s what it comes down to with our team, that we trust each other.”
The big finish in the second game seemed to deflate Lake-Lehman entering the third.
By the time it opened a 17-6 advantage in the third game, Dallas had won 30 out of 37 points.
Michael finished with a team-high 12 kills along with eight points and three blocks.
Emma Berger set up the offense with 25 assists and also had seven digs. Hornlein had 10 points.
The wins leaves Dallas as one of two unbeatens in the WVC.
Casey Dale had 14 assists and Corinna Scoblick had 22 digs for Lake-Lehman, which has already exceeded its win total from last season.
Holy Redeemer 3, Coughlin 0
The defending champion Royals remained a half-match in front of Dallas by improving to 9-0 and also have won every match by sweep.
Holy Redeemer was untested in its latest victory, rolling, 25-3, 25-5, 25-4, with the help of 11 kills and eight points by Skylar Osenkarski.
Julia Andrejko had six kills and Maddie Lewis had 11 points.
Meyers 3, Hanover Area 0
Meyers won 25-19, 27-25, 25-20 at Hanover Area thanks to an impressive effort from Ileaqua Adams, who chipped in with eight kills and 14 assists.
Ar’Lasja Hayes added five kills while Naomi Olmedo had five kills and five assists in the win.
Shaila Isaac posted three kills, a block, two assists, seven digs and three service points to lead Hanover Area.
Hazleton Area 3, Crestwood 1
The Cougars needed four games to take down Crestwood, 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20.
Candice Biesadesky led the way for Hazleton Area, registering 12 kills, six digs, an ace and 14 service points. Faith Grula added 12 service points, five kills, an assist, three blocks, five digs and an ace in a winning effort.
Crestwood was paced by Kristen Kania, who had eight kills, five assists and four service points.
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