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Penns Valley tops Juniata in D6 battle

Penns Valley 3, Juniata 0

PV 25 25  25

JU.  9  23. 23

By Kenny Varner

MIFFLINTOWN – Trying to add to their historic season, the Juniata volleyball team hosted a familiar foe in Penns Valley in the opening round of District 6 volleyball playoff action Wednesday.

The winner would continue their trek to District 6 gold while the loser ended their season until next year.

It would be Penns Valley that would play the spoiler in front of the Indian fans, despite the tough play of their squad, winning 3-0 (25-9, 25-23, 25-23).

”Overall, the girls played well.

We got everybody in and we got a chance to  work on some things were weren’t able to in practice this week,” said Penns Valley coach  Bradley Baldwin. “ I thought Juniata played great. I’m proud of our girls will take it to PO and keep it going.”

Juniata did not go quietly into the night as they left everything they had on the court, giving the tough Penns Valley team quite the battle.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more. That was a special team and they left it all out on the court. I am so proud of what they’ve accomplished this year and to go out on our own court like that means we had a successful season“ said Juniata coach Layne Greenholt. “To show up and be that close with a team like that it just speaks volumes.”

The Lady Indians were led by Lexi Frontz’s 13 kills, dig, two aces and five service points. Teammate Isabella Armstrong followed with 18 assists and seven service points. Rounding things out for “Big Red” was Reese Foltz two kills, nine digs, an assist and a service point.

Penns Valley also got strong performances in the win, led by kills leaders Ella Hadley (9), Moriah Hurd (8), and Carlee Emery (7).

Leading the night in Assists was Ella Aston with 25.

Maddie Butler and Kendall Guisewhite were the top two in kills with 16 and 13, respectively.

Rounding out the Penns Valley leaders was Gracilee Ironside who posted three aces.

In the opening game, the Rams went right to work, as they broke out to an early 10-2 advantage. Leading the way were five consecutive service points by Carlee Emery.

In that run, Ella Hadley was sharp from the front line for Penns Valley.

Despite trailing by eight, Juniata exchanged eight side outs out of 10.

In the spurt, Juniata posted a service point by Isabella Armstrong while Penns Valley notched one service point as well, by Hadley.

But while leading 15-7, the Rams went on another six consecutive points, five from the serving of Kendall Guisewhite.

From there, Penns Valley went onto the 25-9 victory.

Juniata settled in the second game, getting strong performances by Frontz and Madysn Butler was able to push back and provide some spark for the Lady Indians.

Juniata broke out and took an early 2-0 advantage.

Penns Valley battled its way back into the game and tied the contest at three.

Offensively, the Rams were able to stretch the lead to 14-7 before the Indians would scratch and claw their way back into the contest.

Juniata picked up a side out and handed the ball to Foltz to help in the comeback. Foltz notched two service points.

The two battled down to the wire with the Rams holding onto a slim lead. In the end, Penns Valley held off the surging Indians, 25-23.

Game three would be just as exciting with the game going down to the wire once again. But like in game two, the veteran Rams were able to survive a 25-23 win, ending the contest.

Despite the loss, the Indians finished the season with most wins in team history in a season, quite a fete while the Rams have undefeated Philipsburg-Osceola in the next round of D6 action.

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