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Keystone Volleyball Holds Home Court Over Cranberry

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Chris Rossetti

Kaci Weaver KeystoneKNOX, Pa. (EYT) – In a match with wild momentum changes, Keystone jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth set on its way to a match-deciding 15-9 win over visiting Cranberry Tuesday in front of a nice crowd at Keystone.

(Photo of Keystone’s Kaci Weaver)

The Lady Panthers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the match with a first-set win of 25-17 and a third-set victory of 25-21 – Cranberry won the second set 25-10. But the Lady Berries forced a deciding fifth set with a 25-16 win in the fourth.

Keystone senior Kaci Weaver talks about the victory.

In the fifth set, Keystone took advantage of five Cranberry errors to grab a 5-1 lead in the set before the Berries closed within a pair of points twice, 5-3 and 6-4.

But kills by Alyssa Beichner and Sydney Easton helped get the lead to six, 11-5.

Sophomore Malliah Schreck, who led Cranberry with 12 kills, kept the Lady Berries alive with back-to-back kills that made it 11-7.

“I can’t wait until she totally understands the game,” Cranberry head coach Cory McGill said. “Once she does, it’s going to be scary.”

Cranberry’s comeback, though, wasn’t to be.

An error on the Lady Berries made it 12-7 Keystone, and Katie Brown followed with an ace to make it 13-7.

Another kill by Schreck closed the gap to 13-8, but another error by Cranberry made it match point at 14-8.

It took Keystone two tries at the match point to get the victory but it did on a kill by Weaver.

Watch the match’s final point.

Weaver led Keystone with six kills, while Beichner added five and Easton four.

The ebb and flow of the match with both teams seemingly liking the side of the court closest to the lobby – the victorious team in the first four matches all played on that side of the court – is just the nature of volleyball according to McGill.

“Volleyball is a game of momentum,” McGill said. “When you have it, you can do no wrong. When you don’t it have, you have to fight like crazy to get it back. That’s the way it’s always been.”

Quick starts were very important in each set.

In the three sets Keystone won, the Lady Panthers led early 6-1 (first set), 9-3 (third set) and 5-1 (fifth set). The same held true for Cranberry with the Lady Berries grabbing a lead of 6-1 in the second set and 8-2 in the fourth set.

“They had a couple of great float servers that we struggled with,” McGill said. “If we could have serve received better, we won’t have had an issue. But we couldn’t. It’s part of the game.”

Errors played a large role on both sides.

In the first set, 17 of Keystone’s 25 points came off Cranberry miscues.

The second set saw the Lady Berries clean things up with only six errors while Keystone committed 18 allowing Cranberry tie the match up.

But in the third set, 13 Cranberry errors allowed Keystone to regain the momentum, before 13 errors by Keystone vs. 10 for Cranberry switched things back in the fourth set towards the Berries.

Ten more errors, though, in the fifth set helped Keystone take the match.

“We are pretty young as far as inexperienced varsity players go,” McGill said. “They will get there. They work hard every day. We need games like this to go five, because that’s how we are going to learn to do certain things on certain situations.”

Kaylee Weaver also had a strong match for Cranberry offensively with six kills, while Ellie Kahle led the defense with 21 digs and Erin Merryman had 24 set assists.

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