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CLARION - The St. Marys Area Lady Dutch volleyball team closed out their season Saturday by finishing in second place at the District 9 Class AA final four held at Clarion Area High School.
The tournament opened with the Punxsutawney Lady Chucks handing the Kane Lady Wolves a 3-0 loss in games of 25-12, 25-20 and 25-23.
St. Marys and Kane met in the second match of the day, with St. Marys coming out on top 3-2, 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 20-25 and 15-12.
The third and final match, which decided the District 9-AA title, went to Punxsutawney 3-0, 25-17, 25-17 and 25-11.
Punxsutawney will now advance to the regional set for this Saturday at North Hills High School. Punxsy will be in a round robin tournament with Meadville (10-1), Indiana (7-2) and Penn Cambria (6-1). The top two teams will advance to the PIAA Class AA championships set for Central York High School on Nov. 19 and 20.
In the first match against Kane, the Lady Dutch opened a 5-2 lead, with Sami Hanes serving and picking up three aces. The teams traded possessions on several occasions as the game was tied at 12-12 and 13-13. St. Marys got the serve back at 14-14 thanks to a kill by Kayla Hoohuli. With Abbey Cribbs, serving St. Marys moved out to a 19-15 lead. She had two aces during that stretch. St. Marys would build a 24-18 lead, with the final point coming off a Kane block that went out of bounds as the Lady Dutch won 25-18.
The second game was very similar to the first, with neither team taking charge. With Hoohuli serving, the Lady Dutch went from a 16-15 lead to a 20-16 advantage, then on to win by a 25-20 score.
The third game was as close as the previous two. Kane got the lead at 22-19 and was able to hold on to the three-point lead to win 25-22 and close the St. Marys lead in games to 2-1.
Kane evened the match at 2-all with a 25-20 victory in game four. While the Lady Dutch opened an early 9-3 lead, Kane came from behind to take the lead at 16-14. The Lady Wolves slowly built their lead to four points and went on to win 25-20.
The fifth and deciding game was back and forth early. The Lady Wolves slipped out to a 10-6 lead before St. Marys got the serve back with Chelsie Gaton serving. A kill by Hoohuli made it 10-7. Two balls off Kane players made it 10-9. Gaton served two aces to close the score to 12-10. The teams traded serves. A kill by Hoohuli gave the Lady Dutch the serve back leading 13-12. With Hanes serving, Kane was called for being under the net, 14-12. A shot by Kane hit the antenna and went out of bounds as St. Marys won 15-12 to win the match 3-2.
In the first game against Punxsy, the Lady Dutch fell behind 7-2. The Lady Chucks increased their lead to 14-6 and eventually 18-10. St. Marys would close the final margin of victory to 25-17.
In the second game against the Lady Chucks, St. Marys took a 3-0 lead behind the serving of Hanes. The Lady Dutch played head-to-head with the Lady Chucks as the game was tied at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and 14-14. Punxsy began to take control and eventually went on to win 25-17.
The Lady Dutch fell behind early in the third game, as the Lady Chucks went up 6-2 and increased their lead to 12-4. With Tawnee Bowers serving, the Lady Chucks scored six points to take a 20-9 lead. The Lady Chucks went on to win the game 25-11 to win the match 3-0 and advance to regionals.
â€śI think this was the furthest any St. Marys team has come in quite a while,â€ť said St. Marys coach Erica Vogt. â€śPunxsutawney is a good team and we hung with them for the most part. Overall, it was a good day.â€ť
The Lady Dutch finished their season with an 11-7 record.
â€śIt was a good year. I had a group of girls that got along, were mature and wanted to play volleyball,â€ť said Vogt.
â€śWe have a good thing going here. We knew it was going to be a good season,â€ť she added.
The Lady Dutch were led by Kayla Hoohuli with eight kills, nine blocks and five service points. Sami Hanes had 12 service points, while Chelsie Gaton finished with eight kills and four service points.
Senior members of the Lady Dutch squad are Megan Longhi, Shelby Zomcik, Kayla Hoohuli, Carley McMackin, Kindred Wiseman and Karisa Krieg.