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Altoona girls volleyball beats Tigers in playoffs

November 1, 2012
By Matt Michelone ( , The Altoona Mirror

STATE COLLEGE - The second-seeded Altoona Lady Spikers have been no stranger to adversity.

And on Wednesday night, the team showed it knew just how to handle things when they got tough.

After dropping the first set to the third-seeded Hollidaysburg Lady Tigers, the Spikers rallied back to take the next three sets, 18-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-19, at State College in the District 6 Class AAA high school volleyball playoffs.

Altoona coach Karan Price credited her team for not giving up and the Lady Tigers for never quitting.

"Hollidaysburg had a great game plan and they executed," she said of the semifinal matchup. "Our team has a habit of getting down and fighting our way back.

"We've done that in the last couple of matches we've played and it's worked out to our benefit. We need to take care of the ball early and decrease our unforced errors."

In the opener, trailing 14-10 at one point, Hollidaysburg went on a 15-4 run for a 25-18 victory.

"The first three games were so close and so tight we really expended a lot of energy," Hollidaysburg coach Ken Streilein said. "It looked like we started to lose a little energy in the middle of the fourth game. These guys played hard. [There's] nothing more I could ask of them than that."

Altoona took over after that.

Hannah Moore put the finishing touches on the win, recording 18 kills and 10 service points.

"I knew that I just had to step up and play like I knew I could play and go to the spots where I knew I could hit," she said.

Price praised Moore, but also emphasized that it was ultimately a team effort.

"Hannah is one of the key players on our team," she said. "We're a team so we count on everybody."

The fourth set didn't start smoothly for the Lady Spikers when the team was called for a delay of serve, which gave the Lady Tigers a chance to come back.

"I saw that we started to get a little bit down," Streilein said. "I thought we needed to stop and regroup. They were able to keep their intensity up higher than ours. Give [Altoona] credit for that."

Leading the charge for the Lady Tigers was sophomore middle hitter Alex Scheel, who recorded 19 kills.

"We started off a little slow, but we ended on a pretty good note," she said of her team's season.

The Lady Spikers (11-4) will have to go right back to work. Next up for Altoona will be a match-up with State College tonight at Tyrone in the championship.

"We've scouted them and I know they've scouted us," Price said. "Everyone has to play under the same conditions."

The Lady Tigers lose seven seniors from their roster. Most notably are team captains Katie and Kristin Reed.

Streilein spoke positively of the Tiger twins and the rest of his team that went 8-8.

"I was really happy with the effort and the leadership our seniors gave us," he said. "I thought they stepped up and really helped us get through the season. We have a bunch of underclassmen that are coming that I think will be pretty strong next year."

Game notes: Libero Shannon Albright mustered 38 digs and Aubrey Hileman recorded 43 assists for the Lady Spikers. Kristin Reed had 11 service points and Katie tallied 27 assists.


HOLLIDAYSBURG: Kr. Reed 11, Conner 7, Sibold 6

ALTOONA: Albright 5, Hileman 7, Koelle 5, Moore 10, Parrish 3, Goodman 11

Records: Hollidaysburg (8-8); Altoona (11-4)

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