Girls top the K-Kids
Tuesday’s win saw the Whitehall girls volleyball team get back to that balanced scoring which allowed them to reel off some early wins at the beginning of the year.
They swept visiting Northampton as Alyson Peters asserted herself in the first set, while Kristin Spengler was nearly unstoppable in the second set, and Alix Buskirk was knocking down winners in the third set.
Those three helped the Zephyrs get back on the winning track as the win pushed their record to 7-6.
While those three stood out in those individual sets, the game could not have been won without the contributions of Caitlin Kier, Amelia Ballard, Taylor Levan and Amanda Mortimer who all played vital roles in the win.
Spengler knows the value of having everyone contribute.
“We were on a losing streak for a little bit, and I think once we started moving the offense around, feeding Alix more, and Aly, that’s when we started to score more points,” said Spengler. “Rather than just feeding one or two people, we started to spread the offense, and I think that’s how we won this game in three rather than four.”
Head coach Paul Abi-Daher echoed the need for a balanced attack.
“This was a balanced offense today,” said Abi-Daher. “It all started in the back row with good passes. They were energized. They were excited. Volleyball is emotional and if you’re not an emotional person, and energetic on the court and talking, you’re going to play flat.”
Abi-Daher said that they were up for the task against Northampton.
In their loss against Emmaus last Wednesday, the Zephyrs, who were trailing 0-1, were winning for much of the second set and looked poised to tie the match at 1-1. They had a 19-16 lead and seemed ready to close out the match, but once Emmaus got the tying point at 20-20 after a long volley that saw both teams make spectacular digs, the momentum swung to the Hornets and the Zephyrs never recovered, eventually losing to three sets to their division foes.
However, when confronted by Northampton’s rally in the third set that saw the Kids score seven consecutive points for a 19-16 lead, the Zephyrs didn’t allow that swing to unnerve them as they fought back for the 26-24 win.
“I think that we have the mentality now to where we’re stating to get to the point where we know that we want to make districts, and keep pushing ahead of everyone,” said Spengler. “We want to win so we just have to keep going.”
That meant they had to win against the Kids, and winning in three sets adds to their confidence, said Spengler.
Abi-Daher said their ability to withstand that rally was a very good sign.
“We do have letdowns and we bounce back, but it’s how quickly you bounce back, and how quickly you shut them down and not let them roll four or five points,” said Abi-Daher.
Spengler showed that will to win throughout the match, especially in the second set where she took over down the stretch, registering five kills over their last seven points. She was also making blocks at the net as well as setting up her teammates to help them take the 2-0 lead.
That’s how it’s been for her entire career, paving the way for a personal milestone as she reached 1,000 points in their match versus Nazareth.
“It was a lot of hard work and dedication, and it was also possible through the support of coaches and having really good teammates,” said Spengler. “It was really exciting because I didn’t even know I was close to that, and then when it happened, I was overwhelmed. It was a really good feeling.”