WVC quartet named to all-state volleyball team
Four Wyoming Valley Conference volleyball players
have been named to the 2006 Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association
Class AA All-State team.
Nanticoke Areas Sarah Acker and Aly Byorick,
Bishop Hobans Allie Downing and Crestwoods Jade Dudley
have received the honor.
Acker, a senior middle hitter recorded 295
kills and 99 blocks this season. Shes accepted a full scholarship
to play basketball at St. Josephs University.
Byorick, a senior outside hitter, had 256 kills
and 116 digs. Shell be attending Xavier University on a basketball
scholarship in the fall.
Downing finished her season with 176 kills
and 152 service points. She was named Player of the Year by The Citizens
Voice after leading the Argents a District 2 title and a spot in the
to the state tournament.
Dudley, a senior outside hitter, carried the
Comets to a berth in the district final. Along the way she tallied
273 kills and 75 service points.
Byorick takes volleyball spotlight
Two-sport star leads East squad to 3-2 victory in WVC girls volleyball
Aly Byorick is best known for her basketball prowess.
But the Greater Nanticoke Area senior also is an outstanding volleyball
player, and she closed out her high school career on a high note Sunday
The 5-foot-11 middle hitter had 12 kills and
five blocks to lead the East team to a 3-2 victory over the West squad
in the Wyoming Valley Conference girls volleyball all-star game at
Nanticoke High School. The scores were 26-24, 11-25, 20-25, 25-27,
Even though the game was just for fun, both
sides played to win. And the fiercely competitive Byorick played like
there was a championship on the line. She took a couple of hard hits
to the floor while playing defense, and had three in-your-face blocks
against Crestwood star Jade Dudley.
I guess I was in the right place at the
right time, Byorick said. They were wicked shots. My hands
not only were stingingthey were vibrating.
Byorick said the East team had a point to prove.
The other team was stacked, she
said, referring to the fact that the West squad consisted in part
of players from league champion Bishop Hoban, Crestwood, Dallas and
Lake-Lehman. We wanted to prove we could play with them, and
we beat them.
Byorick teamed up with 6-4 Nanticoke teammate
Sarah Acker to dominate play at the net. The East squad also got an
impressive effort from Delaware Valleys Samantha Morgan, who
had five kills and two aces in game 5.
I loved playing with different girls,
said Morgan, who led Delaware Valley to the District 2 3A championship.
This game proved there are a lot of talented players in our
The West team was led by Dallas Theresa
Heintz, who time-after-time hit some rocket shots. The 5-9 middle
hitter wound up with 11 kills and two blocks. Bishop Hobans
Allie Downing added 10 kills and six assists, while Dudley had six
Everytime I hit, I put all my force behind
it, said Heintz. Ive been told that Im small,
but I can hit really hard. I can jump really high, which helps a lot.
The high-flying Heintz has one of the best
vertical leaps in the WVC, which enables her to play above the net.
Heintz said Byorick and Acker proved to be
the difference for the East. They really work well together.
Lake-Lehmans Marissa Harrison, who had
eight kills for the West, was happy to get the chance to team up with
some players that were arch-enemies during regular season play.
It was cool because I wound up getting
sets from hitters Jade (Dudley) and Allie (Downing), Harrison
said That doesnt normally happen, but I thought we played
The true spirit of the all-star game was punctuated
during game 1, when Tunkhannocks Danielle Gilroy took a tumble
to the floor, and was helped up by East teammate Byorick.
We played hard against each other (for
three years), Gilroy said. It was pretty intense. Then
tonight, you find out theyre funny and nice. Playing on the
same team with her (Byorick) is definitely better than getting blocked.
Acker becomes Great Wall
Sarah Acker made it look easy, and her teammates
followed suit. The 6-foot-4 Greater Nanticoke middle hitter blocked
10 shots and scored at will to lead the District 2 girls volleyball
all-stars to a 3-0 victory over the District 4 all-stars on Saturday
night at Wyalusing High School.
The scores were 25-15, 26-24, 25-21.
It was a lot of fun, Acker said.
It was different because I got a chance to make some new friends.
Our team consisted mostly of players who hated each other in regular
season competition, but we got along well.
Ackers mere presence at the net caused
major problems for the District 4 team, which was much smaller. Defensively,
she probably resembled the Great Wall of China in the eyes of the
District 4 players. Offensively, the ambidextrous Acker consistently
posted spikes by tipping the ball over the net with her left hand.
Their size really hurt us, said
District 4s Tesh Kaczynak, from Mansfield High School. We
didnt have anyone to match up with their big girls. No. 2s
(Acker) blocking made it very tough for us to score.
The District 2 team was comprised entirely
of players from the Wyoming Valley Conference. It also got superb
front line play from Crestwoods Jade Dudley and Nanticokes
Aly Byorick. Dudley had several key slams, including a pair of game-winning
blasts. The 5-11 Byorick came up with five blocks, and also posted
some timely spikes.
For Byorick, the match was enjoyable. But shes
so competitive, her first priority was winning.
I think everybody on our team had fun,
but we also wanted to win, Byorick said. Even though our
league isnt known as a statewide volleyball power, I think we
showed that there are a lot of talented players in our conference.
District 2 also got an excellent performance
from Dallas middle hitter Theresa Heintz. She played above the net
on offense, and her outstanding service play helped the team rally
from a four-point deficit to capture game 2.
My serving picked up, said Heintz.
When I get on a roll, I keep going. Its weirdwe
played well as a team, even though we really didnt know each
The District 2 squad also included Bishop Hobans
Allie Downing, Dallas Vicki Piontkowski, Hazleton Areas
Sara Polchin and Lake-Lehmans Marissa Harrison.
Trojan Volleyball loses
heartbreaker to Bishop Hoban ... Ends season 15-5 ... Congratulations
on a Great Season!
Nanticoke (15-5) got spectacular performances from bookend stars Sarah
Acker and Aly Byorick. Acker turned in monster effort, posting 14
kills, 13 blocks and eight digs. Byorick also had a great match, notching
15 kills, six blocks and 10 digs.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, their star players
didnt get a lot of offensive support from their teammates.
Acker played a great game, said
Bishop Hoban freshman Monica Wignot, who was stuffed several times
by the 6-4 Acker. She seemed to be everywhere. She really stepped
Acker pretty much did as she pleased on both
sides of the net, and her hitting was virtually unstoppable. Byorick
was tough in the clutch, especially in game 3 when she had three straight
kills to help the Trojans prevail 25-21.
But Hoban simply had too much offensive firepower.
Allie Downing had 13 kills, while Kate OMalia and Wignot added
11 and 10 kills, respectively. Setter Maggie McCormick also came up
big posting 40 assists and 13 service points.
We gave it everything we had, but they
were too deep in talent and fundamentals, Byorick said.10/31/2006
no match for Trojans
Nanticoke Area storms into D2-2A semis and will face top-seeded Hoban
Greater Nanticoke Area star Sarah Acker wasted no
time setting the tone in Mondays match against Lake-Lehman.
On the opening play, the 6-foot-4 senior middle hitter hit a wicked
slam that knocked a Black Knight defender off her feet.
Acker teamed up with bookend Aly Byorick to
lead the Trojans to a 3-0 victory over Lake-Lehman in opening round
play of the District 2 Class 2A playoffs at Bishop Hoban High School.
The scores were 25-15, 25-20, 25-22.
No. 4 seed Nanticoke (15-4) will face No. 1
seed Bishop Hoban (18-1) today at 6:30 in semifinal action.
We played really well, said Acker,
who led the Trojans with 15 kills and five blocks. Our defense
was excellent. We went after every ball and we came up with a lot
Acker is virtually unstoppable at the net when
she gets a decent set. Thats something the Trojans didnt
take advantage of on several occasions during the regular season.
However, on Monday, they made a concerted effort to get her the ball.
We just tried to get our passing and
setting going, Acker said. We played with intensity and
our hitting was really good.
Byorick was equally as impressive. The 5-foot-11
senior middle hitter had 12 kills and four blocks, and hit the floor
several times diving after loose balls.
We put it all together today, and it
couldnt have come at a better time, Byorick said. You
want to play your best at playoff time. We played well as a team.
Nanticoke cruised to a 25-15 win in game 1
behind Ackers hitting and blocking. The Trojans benefited from
spectacular plays by Acker and Byorick to edge Lake-Lehman, 25-20,
in game 2.
Acker, who is ambidextrous, came up with an
eye-popping kill that gave Bishop Hoban an 11-7 lead. While almost
falling out of bounds chasing the ball, she swatted it back over the
net left-handed and it fell between two defenders.
Not to be outdone, Byorick scored on a riveting
block against Lake-Lehmans Marissa Harrison, giving Nanticoke
a 15-13 led.
The Black Knights pushed the Trojans to the
limit in game 3, taking a 22-21 lead on a Megan Devine kill. However,
Nanticoke went on a 4-0 run, sealing the deal on an Acker block.
Harrison paced Lake-Lehman with 12 kills and
seven service points. The Black Knights were without senior middle
hitter Rebekah Williams, who did not play for disciplinary reasons.
Byorick is confident Nanticoke can avenge its
3-0 loss to Bishop Hoban during the regular season. If we play
like this, we can beat anybody.
Acker leads Trojan rally past Tigers
After rolling to three easy victories, the Greater
Nanticoke Area girls volleyball team was ripe for an upset, and Tunkhannock
almost pulled it off Thursday.
The Tigers won the first two games and held
a six-point lead late in the third game. However, Tunkhannock was
unable to contain Sarah Acker.
Acker, a 6-foot-4 senior middle hitter, took
charge down the stretch to lead the Trojans to a 3-2 victory. The
scores were 19-25, 22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-7. She wound up with 16
kills and 11 blocks, and simply dominated the fifth game.
I felt like I had to step it up,
said Acker, who had two kills and two blocks early in game five that
put Nanticoke (4-0) in charge. I had some nice blocks. I was
just trying to get something done. In the fifth game, I felt like
I was gliding in the air.
The Trojans also got a superb effort from senior
outside hitter Aly Byorick, who had 11 kills, six blocks and nine
We needed a tough match like this,
said Byorick. We didnt play well in the early going. I
think thats because we won our first three matches of the season
so easy that we took Tunkhannock too lightly.
Tunkhannock (3-1) unveiled a star of the future
in Kerri Kotch, a 5-6 sophomore middle hitter who almost single-handedly
shot down the Trojans. Kotch led the Tigers with 16 kills, many of
which were pinpoint slams that fell in between Nanticoke defenders.
In the first game, Kotch overpowered Acker
for a slam that hit her in the chest. Two possessions later, Kotch
made a spectacular block of a shot by Acker. Not to be outdone, Acker
returned the favor later in the match.
In the first two games, we were real
disciplined and played solid defense, Kotch said. After
that, it evened out. We started making our own mistakes.
Byorick said Nanticoke showed its true character
with its come-from-behind heroics.
We may not be the most talented team
in the league, but weve certainly got the most heart. We proved
Hoban, Nanticoke Area hold edge in WVVC
BY DOM LOIACONO CORRESPONDENT
For the first time in six years, there is no clear-cut
favorite in the Wyoming Valley Volleyball Conference.
Five teams have a shot at staking a claim to the title with Bishop
Hoban and Nanticoke Area rating a slight edge over the rest of the
field. Crestwood, Lake-Lehman and Dallas are serious contenders.
As always, the league is very strong, said Hoban coach
John Kablick. This year is a little different because I can
see as many as five teams possibly winning it, so I expect a battle
right to the end.
Hoban saw its four year reign as District 2 champion come to
an end with a semifinal loss at Crestwood last season.
However, the Lady Argents return 10 of their top 15 players from a
year ago and will be a major factor.
Defending District 2, Class AA champ, Nanticoke Area, lost several
talented players from 2005 but still has seniors Aly Byorick and Sara
Acker back for a fourth season.
Both players are the nucleus, said Trojanettes coach Deb
Krupinski. Theyre our team leaders and well build
Hobans success depends on the performances of seniors Allie
Downing, Kelly Rose, Sarah Rogers and Sara Vidumsky, along with junior
Lindsay Maximowicz. All played major roles last year.
Valley West transfer Maggie McCormick, a junior, is expected to help
Well be a contender, Kablick noted. We lost
nine seniors heading into last year and a tenth girl moved to California
so it was a rebuilding year but we have plenty of experience back
so it will be a plus.
I think our overall hitting and setting is extremely strong.
Plus, all of our defenders return so we have a nice balance and our
freshmen class is the strongest its been since Ive been
the coach. I think well do alright.
While Hoban looks strong, the Trojanettes arent far behind,
despite the absence of five major players.
Byorick and Acker have started since their freshmen seasons and must
lead the squad in the early stages of the season.
Leading the list of players that will fill the voids are senior Amanda
Grabinski, junior Keira Lohman and sophomores Kelsey Yohey,
Amy Robachesky and Morgan Thomas. Robachesky and Thomas are the setters.
We lost a lot of quality players but we have people who can
fill the positions, said Krupinski. They have big shoes
to fill but theyre getting the job done. I can see that in practice.
I think the league will be more competitive since everybody
lost some of their big players. That levels the playing field this
year but we have two of the best players in the league so thats
to our advantage, added Krupinski.
Lehman brings in a wealth of letterwinners, led by outside hitter
and back row specialist, Marissa Harrison, while Crestwood coach Bruce
Muchler lost several players and will rely on talented all-around
performer, Jade Dudley.
Dallas welcomes back all but one player from last season.
Sept. 1, Lake-Lehman at Dallas; Sept. 12, Crestwood at Lake-Lehman;
Sept. 26, Nanticoke Area at Hoban; Sept. 28, Lake-Lehman at Nanticoke
Area; Oct. 12, Crestwood at Hoban; Oct. 23, Nanticoke Area at Crestwood.
Amanda Sorber, Lake-Lehman; Lane Kehl and Nicole Boone, Crestwood;
Kaitlyn Malshefski and Amanda Gavin, Nanticoke Area.
Freshmen to watch
Emily Banas and Monica Wignot, Bishop Hoban. Banas father, Dr.
Michael Banas, was an all-american basketball player at the University
of Scranton and a two-time academic all-american. Wignots brother,
Owen, is a standout on the Argents soccer and basketball teams.
New kid on the block
Meyers lacked numbers and opted not to field a program this season.
Delaware Valley joins the WVVC after competing in the Lackawanna Conference.