Even though they had beaten Hollidaysburg twice in the regular-season, there was no chance the Altoona Lady Spikers were going to take the Lady Tigers lightly in their District 6 Class AAA semifinal match Monday night at the AAHS Fieldhouse.
Coach Karan Price made sure of that as the Lady Spikers came through with a three-game sweep, posting wins of 25-15, 25-13 and 25-18.
"We play them here [regular-season] and in the summer," Price said, "so they kind of know us inside and out, and it's the same way with us. Sometimes when you play teams like that, it is hard to get up."
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Altoona’s Adena Delozier sets up a teammate against Hollidaysburg at the Fieldhouse.
That wasn't the case Monday night, though.
"We've got our eyes on Wednesday night, but we've been saying you can't take anything for granted," said Price, whose Lady Spikers will seek their fourth straight District 6 Class AAA championship against State College.
"Fortunately, we played well enough to win [tonight] and now all eyes are on Wednesday."
Altoona has only three seniors on this year's squad - Adena Delozier, Kelley George and Shalen Perehinec - but the Lady Spikers have gotten help elsewhere.
"Both Adena and Kelley have been around for four years," Price said. "We're looking to them for leadership because of their experience. They know what our program is about and what we need to do in the big games."
Constantly setting up teammates, Delozier was credited with 31 assists while George had 20 digs.
Sophomore Amanda Parrish was one of the young standouts last night with 25 service points, including seven aces.
"She's come on lately," Price said of Parrish, "and now she's hitting some tough spots, too. That's giving her more points and is enabling us to run some offense off of them."
Junior Hannah Moore had 10 service points and was strong at the net with 12 kills. Brianna Delozier, another junior, had 10 blocks.
Hollidaysburg coach Ken Streilein knew his Lady Tigers would have their hands full last night.
"We took one game from them the first time," Streilein said, "but they beat us 3-0 the second time, so we knew we were in for a tough match tonight.
"Their serving was just phenomenal."
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opener, but the Lady Spikers, with Parrish serving, ran off 11 straight points to take command.
Parrish's five service points put Altoona on top 6-2 early in the second game and the Lady Spikers never relinquished the lead. Hollidaysburg did its best job in the third game, leading 15-12 at one time, but Parrish served nine straight points as Altoona rallied for the sweep.
"Amanda Parrish did a fabulous job, and took us completely out of our match," Streilein said. "Other than that, I thought we played OK once we got the passes, but we got so disrupted on the serving that we could never get into a good rhythm.
"I told our girls you've got to give [Altoona] credit for their great serving."
The district final is a team goal every year, according to Price.
"That's always our mission for the year," she said. "Our kids are looking forward to it. That's why we play the season to prepare for it, and I think we're ready to go."
Game notes: Altoona stat leaders: Parrish, 25 service points; Moore, 12 kills; Luciano, 10 blocks; Delozier, 31 assists; George, 20 digs. ... Hollidaysburg leaders: Kelsey Salyards, 8 kills, 2 blocks; Katie Reed, 11 assists; Kristin Reed, 6 service points, 4 digs.
HOLLIDAYSBURG: Reed 6.
ALTOONA: Parrish 25, Moore 10, McDonald 5, Albright 3, Delozier 3, Perehinec 3.