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Bald Eagle and PO battle in post season type contest

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – The Bald Eagle Area Gymnasium had a post season feel to it Tuesday night as two legendary Centre County volleyball programs met to renew its rivalry.

The Philipsburg-Osceola volleyball team led by stand out player, Reese Hazelton visited the Bald Eagle squad that has posted an early season record of 19-2-2 going into the contest.

Fans were not disappointed in the action they saw during the match but when the the last serve was made, Philipsburg-Osceola came out as the victors 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 25-14.

“They literally left it all out on the table there. I am just so proud of them on how well they performed, offensively, defensively, just all around,how they were communicating, said Bald Eagle Area coach Zach Rote. “I have a really great team and we’re we’re so close.”

Hazelton stood out, taking control of games one, two and four. She was sparkling at the line blocking numerous shots and keeping the Bald Eagle defense on their toes as she mixed up her hits, smoking a spike one play and dunking the ball or pushing it to a middle shot. She was also a tough out from the service line, especially in the third game when the Lady Mounties needed it the most. As she proves still to be one of the toughest players in the Laurel Highlands Conference.

“Credit to Reese. She is a very very special talent. She’s a special young lady,” said Rote. “She’s a super kid and a big part of their offense. Obviously, we tried to contain her as much as possible but sometime you have to tip your hat to a great player like Reese.”

In the first contest, the two opened up play with numerous long volleys and strong net play by both.

The Lady Mounties opened things up taking a 7-3 advantage. Notching service points in the run was Lauren Dugan and Megan Johnson who combined for five service points.

Bald Eagle rallied to get within two via two consecutive service points by   Gabbie Perry.

Things remained close with PO leading 10-9.

However, the Lady Mounties started to pull away from the Eagles as Maddy Lumadue rolled off three consecutive service points helped by some strong front line play by Hazelton and Sophie Granville.

Leading 14-9, the Mounties would keep their distance the rest of the contest, posting a close 25-18 victory.

Philipsburg-Osceola and Bald Eagle fought tooth and nail in the second contest, the two battled things from beginning to end.

The Mounties rolled out to an early lead and refused to give any ground, winning 25-20.

Trailing 2-0, the Lady Eagles refused to go away without making their presence known.

Tied at two early, the Eagles went ahead for the first time when Leah Bryan blasted a cross court shot, making it a 3-2 Eagle advantage.

Notching service points in the run was Olivia Taylor. Two of the three points were aces.

The two would close the gap via two service points by Hazelton tying things at six.

However, Bald Eagle wasn’t going to be denied in this contest as they pulled away from the Mounties thanks to five consecutive service points by Perry to push her team out to a comfortable 12-6 lead.

Leading 13-7, the Eagles pulled out on a 3-0 run on service points by Peightin Brownson, upping up the lead to 16-7.

The momentum continued in the Eagles favor as they went onto the 27-17 victory.

But the Mounties ended things in game four, as Hazelton rallied for six service points and numerous spikes and soft front line shots leading to the 25-14 victory, ending the contest.

Philipsburg-Osceola 3, BEA 1

PO   25 25 17 25

BEA 18 20 25 14

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