ACC tops Tribe in volleyball
To be elite team in volleyball, a team must have an elite front line.
Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) showed that it indeed boasts just that — a dominant front — in defeating Lehighton in the quarterfinals of the District 11 3A playoffs on Wednesday.
The Vikettes came through with a 3-0 (25-8, 25-8, 25-13) victory over the Indians to advance to the semis.
Central Catholic (No. 3 seed) has won multiple district titles, as well as numerous PIAA state championships in their history, and it showed early its ability to perform in the postseason. ACC jumped all over Lehighton in the first set, using an early run to propel it to a 25-8 win.
It was evident that the Vikettes’ strategy offensively was to attack early and often.
“The game plan fur us is to come out and attack and be as aggressive as we can,” said Central head coach Laurie Corcoran. “Establishing the middle is always our first priority. That then sets up some nice things for our outside hitters.”
The Vikettes offense continued to click in the second set as they came through with yet another 25-8 dominating performance. The front line of Reilly Blair (5-11), Mary Rose Janny (5-8), Maggie Maguire (6-0) and Ava Graspy (5-10) all put together kills in the frame.
The stars of this matchup were certainly on the front line, but their co-star was most definitely setter Monica Vargo. Vargo compiled an impressive 39 assists in the game, using her length at 5-11 and athleticism to set up the powerful ACC hitters perfectly.
“She works really hard and she keeps on getting better and better,” said Corcoran. “There are not many balls that she’s not able to get to, even when it gets to the deep middle of the floor she can get to it. She’s a very talented player.”
The Vikettes capped off the sweep in the third set with a 25-13 win.
For Lehighton (9-11), the goal at the beginning of the season was to compete and qualify for the district playoffs.
“We have great kids, our kids work very hard and they work at it year round,” said Indians mentor TJ O’Connor. “They go out there and they play hard. D-11 volleyball is arguably the best volleyball district in the state, so you’re going to see great competition in the postseason. We’re just going to continue to work hard in the offseason and try to improve.”
LEADERS ... Graspy led the way with 12 kills for ACC with Blair and McGuire adding 10 kills each. Lehighton’s Sophia Salerno had one kill, four digs and two aces, while Gina Piccioni added eight digs.
2,000-CLUB ... Vargo surpassed 2,000 assists in her career with her 39-assist performance against the Indians.