The Bishop OReilly girls volleyball team came into Tuesdays match against Greater Nanticoke Area sporting a 6-1 record and high expectations.
However, after falling victim to an overwhelming performance by the Trojans, the Queenswomen left the court in disbelief.
And for good reason.
Led by the sensational hitting of Aly Byorick and Kaitlyn Malshefski, Nanticoke took charge at the outset and romped to a 3-0 victory. The scores were 25-9, 25-4, 25-14. The Trojans not only beat Bishop OReilly in every phase of the game, they kept the Queenswomen running for cover throughout the match.
The Trojans played a near flawless match and also seemed to break Bishop OReillys spirit. The match reached a point where the Queenswomen were so timid, they were burying shots in the net.
Defensively, OReilly had no answer for Nanticokes relentless attack. Byorick, Malshefski, Ashley Makarczyk and Sarah Acker had their way at the net.
Nanticoke is like a four-headed monster, OReilly coach Justin Udzilla said. They have four great hitters and theres not much you can do to slow them down.
Certainly, the Trojans played championship caliber volleyball Tuesday. Besides their overpowering hitting, they played smothering defense. Nanticoke (7-1) did a great job of containing OReilly star Ashley Rome, who averages 20 kills per match.
The 6-foot-3 middle hitter had just one kill and was never really a factor in the match.
Rome is a good player, but our goal was to hold her to three kills, Byorick said.
Byorick is best known for her basketball skills, but the 5-11 junior middle hitter has blossomed into an outstanding volleyball player. Shes a tremendous leaper who is deadly at the net. Shes also a great blocker and outstanding server.
Byoricks hitting enabled the Trojans to take charge early in game one. In game two, she was unstoppable. She had three straight kills that gave Nanticoke a 17-0 lead, and two consecutive slams that forged a 19-4 lead.
Malshefski was equally as impressive. Time after time she blasted wicked shots that kept the Queenswomen on their heels. The 6-3 Acker saw only limited playing time, but posted six kills. Makarczyk added eight kills and didnt miss a serve.
Were just playing really well, Malshefski said. Weve been practicing hard, and were very close off the court. We hang out together.
Nanticoke has played like a team on a mission since losing to Crestwood in its season opener. The Trojans havent lost a single game since.
After we lost to Crestwood, we got a little down, Byorick said. But after a couple of practices, we pulled ourselves up. Now were very focused.