Lady Wolves hosted JV Volleyball Tournament over the weekend

Photo by Larry Smith — Aubri Haight sends a spike over the net on Saturday.
By: 
Judy Kessler
Special to the Republican

The young Lady Wolves hosted their own JV volleyball tournament on Saturday and had a great opportunity that doesn’t come by that often. The entire JV team played all day long as Coach Whitman was able to split them in half.
“We were short a team when a school dropped out earlier this week so we divided into two teams, allowing all of the girls to get touches on the ball for the entire tournament,” she said.
Kane 1 opened the tournament against Smethport and took both games 25-19, 25-19. Freshman Aubri Haight had several service points in the first set. In the second, Ronnie Costanzo took over that role and did well from the service line. Kelsie Alexander hustled and passed well in the middle back libero spot. Rainee Wright put up some nice blocks in the middle. Both Costanzo and freshman Moira Stanisch set well and hit well from the opposite side.
Kane 2 faced their first opponent in Brookville but struggled to pass the ball well. They lost the first set 25-10. Freshman Abby Anderson got her first kill of the tournament for the 10th point.  In the second set, the young Wolves had an opportunity to score 4 straight points after a kill by freshman Hailey Slater that sent her to the service line. She served three points that included 2 aces. Freshman middle blocker Madison Stahli had a nice block and freshman outside hitter Katie Colosimo had a kill. But it wasn’t enough as they lost 25-12.
Kane 1 got back on the court to face Clarion-Limestone and took the two sets 25-19. 25-16. The Wolves combined for 6 kills from Ella Klaiber (3), Haight (2), and Costanzo (1). Stanisch served up a couple of aces as did Costanzo who ended the game with two in a row. Alena Horton passed well out of the back row. In the second set, Stanisch continued to serve well, starting the game with 2 aces and closing out the set with 4 more. The Wolves kept the Lions off balance from the service line most of the set as Klaiber and Alexander added aces as well.
With Kane 1 at 8-0 in the bracket, they earned a bye into the semifinals. They easily defeated Johnsonburg 25-13 in single-game elimination play. Costanzo (4), Klaiber (3), Alexander (1), Stanisch (1), and Haight (1) all served up aces. Klaiber added three kills, Freshman Serrena Conklin had a nice kill out of the middle, and Wright had a nice block. Alexander and Horton were instrumental with solid passing out of the middle back.
That win pitted the Wolves against the B court winners, Redbank Valley, in a best of 3 matches. After initial Wolves kills from Haight and Wright, RBV jumped out to a commanding 10-4 lead as the Wolves struggled to get their feet right on serve receive and attacking. But they fought back with Haight serving (1 ace) and kills from Klaiber, who hit a great line shot, and Costanzo, who pushed the ball to the corner. Down 9-14, the Wolves battled and points traded 1-2 at a time. Costanzo had another ace and a kill. Conklin added a timely kill for point 11. Alexander continued to make solid passes.
In the second set, Stanisch started it with an ace and Klaiber added a 5th point with another kill. But a strong server for RBV put a damper on the Wolves offense as they couldn’t get a solid pass out of serve receive. Down 7-19, they battled. Klaiber put up an ace and Alexander made a fantastic dig. Costanzo made a nice save and the Wolves added 3 more points. But more serve to receive errors got in the way before an RBV mistake. Costanzo pushed another well-placed ball, but that was about all the Wolves could muster as RBV took the win and first place, 25-12.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way the young girls handled themselves all day. Both teams had such a great opportunity to be on the court. The JV program has two goals, one of them obviously being to be competitive; the other goal is to teach them what sports are all about. It’s not always about winning, although nobody really likes to lose. But today was about learning the game, learning to be a good teammate, learning how to overcome obstacles and challenges. As coaches, this is what we try to do day in and day out. It’s a big part of why these girls have success. This group of JV girls works hard to get better every day and I’m honored to have them in the gym,” Coach Kessler said.
The Lady Wolves travel to ECC on Tuesday to face the Crusaders. Thursday they travel to Sheffield to face the Wolverines.

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