Errors hurt Nanticoke in first-round loss
Trojans season ends against hard-fighting Bethlehem Catholic.
Nanticoke finishes with 20-2 mark.
Records sure can be deceiving.
Bethlehem Catholic, a team that lost eight times during the regular
season against tougher competition, posted an impressive 3-1 victory
over Greater Nanticoke Area on Tuesday in a PIAA Class 2A first-round
game at Liberty High School.
The District 11 champion Golden Hawks (13-8) advanced to Fridays
Sweet 16 at Central York High School. District 2 champion Nanticoke
ended its season with a 20-2 record.
We had a great season, but this is a tough way for it to end,
said Nanticoke senior Aly Byorick.
Bethlehem Catholic got a magnificent performance from senior superstar
Lauren Albright. The 5-foot-9 senior middle hitter had 21 kills
and four aces to lead the Golden Hawks to a 25-15, 20-25, 26-24,
Shes very difficult to stop, said Bethlehem Catholic
coach Mike Metzger. They double-blocked and sometimes triple
blocked her. But she was still able to hit the ball where no one
was within 10 feet.
Albrights play also left Nanticokes players impressed.
Albright played a great game, said Nanticoke senior
Ashley Makarczyk. She knew where to put the ball. And she
did a great job of finding our weak spots.
The teams played on even terms in the first two games, but Nanticoke
struggled with its service play, normally a strong point. But Tuesday,
the Trojans made 13 service errors while Bethlehem Catholic had
Nanticoke got enormous efforts from middle hitters Sarah Acker and
Byorick. Acker had 13 kills and five blocks, while Byorick added
10 kills and two blocks. Their superb defensive play kept Nanticoke
from being blown out.
They continually kept the ball in play, Albright said
of Nanticoke. And their defense seemed to keep the ball off
The Trojans led throughout most of Game 3, but let the lead slip
away. Nanticoke surged ahead 20-16 on an Acker kill, but Bethlehem
Catholic drew even at 21 on three consecutive unforced errors from
It seemed appropriate that the Golden Hawks scored the winning point,
26-24, on another Nanticoke miscue.
We got flustered in Game 3, Nanticoke setter Amanda
Gavin said. We let it get us down and we never really recovered.
Nanticoke seemed to lose interest in Game 4. The Trojans fell behind
11-8 after a wicked kill by Albright and were never able to get
closer than two points the rest of the way.
Mentally we just werent
ready to play, Makarczyk said. I dont know why,
but we werent up for this game like we were for Crestwood
(in the D2 2A title match last week).
Byorick, who spent 10 minutes with
her head buried in her hands after the match, concurred. The senior
said it was more of the Trojans beating themselves than Bethlehem
Albright is no better than (Crestwoods)
Layne Kehl, Byorick said, and their team isnt
any better than Crestwood. We just didnt show up.
District 2 girls volleyball
Trojans win 2A crown impressively
Nanticoke avenged its only loss of the season and now has won 60
games in a row.
Its been said that payback is hell.
But for the Greater Nanticoke Area girls volleyball team Thursday
night, it was merely a matter of taking care of business.
The powerful Trojans unleashed all of the weapons in their impressive
arsenal to post a 3-0 victory over previously unbeaten Crestwood
to capture the District 2 Class 2A championship at Wyoming Valley
West High School.
Nanticoke (20-1) will face the No. 1 seed from District 11 in
opening round action of the state playoffs at 7 p.m. Tuesday at
Bethlehem Liberty High School.
This is what weve been shooting for ever since Crestwood
beat us, said senior middle hitter Kaitlyn Malshefski, referring
to the Trojans 3-2 loss to the Comets in the season opener
in September. Weve focused on nothing else. I dont
know if anyone realizes it, but we havent lost a single game
Nanticoke has now won 20 straight matches and 60 consecutive games.
To add to the drama, the Trojans saved their best effort for their
rematch with Crestwood.
Truth is, Nanticoke played so well it would have taken a near-perfect
performance by Crestwood to curb the tide.
Malshefski and Ashley Makarczyk consistently hit rocket shots that
kept the Comets defense on its heels. Both wound up with nine
kills, and Makarczyk also posted five blocks.
The Trojans got an eye-popping defensive effort from 6-foot-3 middle
hitter Sarah Acker, who had six blocks, including three stuffs against
Crestwood star Layne Kehl. Acker also notched seven kills, all on
wicked spikes from high above the net.
Ackers running mate 5-11 middle hitter Aly Byorick
-- once again displayed her great athleticism. Byorick is best known
for basketball, but Thursday she played volleyball like it was her
only sport. She had five kills and four blocks, and spent much of
the night on the floor diving for digs.
Byorick set the tone for Nanticokes hustle when she dove head
first trying to dig up a wicked blast by Kehl in game two. She got
floor burns by sliding about 5 feet on her knees in a vain effort
to get to the ball. At first she appeared injured, but got up smiling.
Makarczyk had an excellent serving game and was a terror on offense.
She was the Trojans most aggressive hitter in the early going,
when Nanticoke had trouble getting its offense untracked.
Ashley did an awesome job, Malshefski said. She
attacked the ball.
Crestwood started fast, but it turned out to be an aberration. The
Comets took a 16-12 lead in game one on a Jade Dudley slam, but
Malshefski caught fire and Nanticoke stormed back. The Trojans surged
ahead 24-19 on two straight kills and a block by Malshefski.
Game two was the Sarah Acker Show. Nanticoke forged an 8-4 lead
when Acker stuffed Kehl twice in a row. The Trojans drew out to
a 19-10 lead on two kills and another block by Acker. Byorick added
two kills and a block as the Trojans cruised to a 25-16 win.
Acker downplayed her dominating performance.
I was just in the right place
at the right time, she said, referring to her blocks.
The Comets hung tough in game three.
They took a 12-11 lead on a Kehl slam. But Malshefeski went on a
hitting tear to seal the deal for the Trojans. It seemed only appropriate
that Nanticoke closed out the match on a Malshefski ace.
All I remember is that everyone
(on the team) started jumping on top of me, Malshefski said.
I was really psyched for the match because we wanted it so
Kehl paced Crestwood with 15 kills,
and Dudley had nine kills. Senior setter Nicole Boone dished out
Their blocking was the big difference,
Boone said. They double blocked us a lot of time and our hitters
had a tough time.
Byorick said winning the district volleyball
championship exceeded all of her basketball accomplishments.
I have four silver medals hanging
in my room and now I have a gold one. Ill treasure it forever
even if we win the state tournament in basketball
because its the first one.
Trojanettes claim District 2 volleyball
By: Jill Snowdon , Staff Writer
On the eve of their district title showdown
with undefeated Crestwood, the Nanticoke Area Trojanettes were given
a reading assignment.
It was a newspaper article Coach Deb Krupinski saved from the last
time Nanticoke's volleyball team won a District 2 championship.
Coincidentally, it was also against an undefeated Comet squad.
The Trojanettes did their homework and claimed their first district
title since 1997 with a three-game sweep over Crestwood, Thursday
night at Wyoming Valley West High School.
"It was the same situation as it was in 1997 and I told them
to take that article home and read it," Krupinski said. "I
told them 'this is going to happen again' and I hope it was an inspiration.
And today they left school psyched, they came here psyched and they
took (Crestwood) down in three."
Nanticoke improves to 20-1 and advances to the state tournament
where it will meet the District 11 champion at a site and time to
be announced. Crestwood ends the year at 20-1.
Thanks to a tremendous team effort, which was led by Kaitlyn Malshefski's
hitting and Sarah Acker's defense, the Trojanettes posted scores
of 25-19, 25-16, 25-20.
Crestwood took a 16-12 lead on a kill from Jade Dudley before the
Trojanettes rallied behind a block and a kill from Aly Byorick and
two straight kills and a block from Malshefski.
"We lost momentum in the first game," Crestwood coach
Bruce Muchler said. "It seemed to carry into the other two
games. We got on a bad run there with our passing and our serve
Nanticoke's defense highlighted game
two, with Acker posting two blocks and a kill for a 9-4 margin.
Crestwood was unable to recover and didn't take a lead in the second
"I think we played 100 percent in everything," Nanticoke
senior outside hitter Ashley Makarczyk said. "But I think our
defense is what won it for us. I was really confident about this
game. Usually I don't think about games, I just go out and play,
but I had such a good feeling about this one."
Nanticoke started pulling away in game three after Malshefski registered
a kill and Gavin followed with an ace for a 21-18 lead. Byorick
added an ace, Acker connected for a kill and Malshefski iced the
win with an ace before being mobbed by her teammates and Nanticoke
"I don't think it hit me until everyone started jumping on
me," Malshefski said. "This is the best feeling and it
makes it that much sweeter because we lost last year."
Malshefski is referring to Nanticoke's loss to Bishop Hoban in last
season's district final.
While the win masks that loss, it also eases the Trojanettes minds
after they suffered their only setback of the season to Crestwood
(3-2) on Sept. 2.
"After we lost to Crestwood, we beat every team since then
in three games and we didn't want to break that," Makarczyk
said. "Last time we played Crestwood we were scared, but everyo\ne
came in confident today."
Makarczyk finished with nine kills, nine digs, four blocks and an
ace. Malshefski posted nine kills, four digs and two service point.
Byorick had five kills, four blocks and four digs, while Acker had
seven kills and six blocks. Amanda Gavin led the team with 26 assists
and Brittany Pietryzk and Brittany Dougherty combined for 12 digs.
For Crestwood, Nicole Boone had 28 assists. Jade Dudley tallied
nine kills and Layne Kehl had 15 kills.
"I can empathize with Crestwood," Krupinski said. "I
know exactly what (losing the district title) feels like and so
do my girls. But it's nice to be on this side of the fence this