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Moving on! BEA girls take the Blue Devils in four

Photo by Tim Weight

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – Home. Sweet. Home.

Tuesday night the Bald Eagle Area volleyball team opened its PIAA Class 3A state playoff action with a home contest against District 3 third seed Green Castle-Antrim.

Bald Eagle was trying to stay alive to play another day and continue their quest for a PIAA state championship.

Both finished the regular season with records of 18-2.

Mission accomplished!

The Lady Eagles defeated the Blue Devils in four, winning matches 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18).

“We played really well tonight. We connected well and played good defense once again,” said Bald Eagle Area coach Zach Rote. “That’s sort of been our M-O. We got to serve tough. Which we have done well with that and just continue to play good defense.”

Bald Eagle Area also had a milestone accomplished in the game as Taylor Habovick reached the 1,000 assist plateau.

Highlighting the win for the Eagles was the front line by Leah Bryan as she was deadly, changing up speeds on her hits and providing power when needed. She came up huge early and often.

In the first game, the two teams came out battling.

The Eagles took an early 3-1 on two service points by Olivia Taylor. Taylor notched an ace while Bryan added a spike for good measures.

The two would exchange side outs seven consecutive times before the Blue Devils would take the lead for the first time. Abigail Eagler posted three consecutive serve points, putting her team into the lead 7-6.

Bald Eagle zeroed in and went on a scoring run that gave the Lady Eagle some breathing room.

After getting the ball back in their possession, thanks to a clutch blast by Taylor Hall.

Habovick stepped to the line and got down to buisness. She would reel off eight consecutive service points, putting Bald Eagle in the drivers seat at 14-7.

In the run, the front row provided clutch blasts by Hall, Rachel Bryan and Leah Bryan.

Bald Eagle continue to extend its lead.

After a mini run of two by GreenCastle, cutting it to 14-9, the Eagles went on a run of their own with Myra Brooks notching two service points to up the contest to an 8-point lead down the stretch.

Down the stretch, the Eagles continued its lead and it would not give up the lead despite the Blue Devils late 4-0 run. The Eagles held onto to take game one, 25-21.

Hoping to take the momentum into the second game, the Lady Eagles fell behind early in the contest but hung in there to battle after trailing 11-8.

Staying within striking distance, the Eagles would slowly turn the game to their favor.

Trailing 12-11, Bald Eagle wasn’t going to be denied as the group battled back thanks to three consecutive service points by Gabrielle Perry. The run gave the home team the lead for the first time in game two at 14-12.

But the game remained a tight one as Green Castle battled right back to tie things at 14.

The two teams combined on five consecutive side out opportunities as the game headed down the stretch at 17-16 in favor of Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle Area extended things to a 19-16 advantage on two more service points by Mya Brooks.

However, the Blue Devils battled back to tie things at 21.

Offensively, the Eagles made the most of the veteran leadership and muscled its way to a 25-22 victory.

In the third game, the feisty Green Castle team battled back to take the third game, sending the contest to a fourth game, winning 25-18.

But a good team rises to the occasion and the Lady Eagles did just that.

Bald Eagle came out with a mission.

Trailing early 4-2, the offense started firing on all cylinders as it rolled off six points to extend its lead to 7-4.

Leading the way from the service line was Olivia Boone who reeled off five service points.

Leading 13-9, the Eagles once again added to its lead, posting six more consecutive points. This time it would be Habovick posting five, extending the lead to 18-9.

The Eagles never looked back as they went on to take game four, 25-18 sending them to round two of PIAA state playoff action.

With the win, the Eagles will travel to a neutral court on Saturday against a team to be announced at a later time.

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