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Storm uses extra time to advantage

October 07, 2009|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

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    The Mercersburg Academy volleyball team came off a 14-day layoff and swept St. Maria Goretti 27-25, 25-19, 25-23 on Wednesday night at the Gael Center.

    "We have had a lot of practice time since our previous match," Blue Storm coach Kylie Johnson said. "That gave us some extra time to prepare for tonight."

    Mercersburg (2-5) got its offense going against the Gaels (2-11).

    "I think we served tough," Johnson said. "They struggled a little in serve receive. We were able to run a strong offense. We passed well and that was what turned into the strong offense that we have."

    Sarah Kolanowski had 13 kills, seven blocks and eight digs for the Blue Storm. Taylor Riley had 12 kills, 10 digs and five aces, and Abby Schwing added 23 assists.

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Jean Hogan had 15 assists and nine digs, while Mary Hackey had 15 digs for Goretti. Courtney Thompson had 11 kills and three aces.

The Gaels raced to an 11-5 lead in Game 1. Paige Pak served four straight points as the Blue Storm cut the gap to 11-10. Goretti pushed the lead back to 20-15 before Riley's four service points tied the game at 20.

At 25-25, Kolanowski served the last two points to win the game for Mercersburg.

"I think, overall, the girls played really well," Gaels coach Leah Pongratz said. "They worked together as a team. We came out strong. We had two really good leads. We just need to work on closing the game. I was impressed with Mercersburg's serving. Their serving was strong."

Mahaffey's four consecutive points early in Game 2 gave the Blue Storm a 5-0 lead, and Mercersburg never trailed.

The Gaels led 8-4 in Game 3 before the Blue Storm rallied for a 14-13 edge. The teams battled back and forth, with Goretti taking a 20-17 lead. But Mercersburg closed out the game and the match with an 8-3 run.

JV: Mercersburg Academy, 25-16, 25-12.

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