ATHENS — The Liberty team opened up state competition against the Holy Redeemer Royals volleyball team on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Athens. The Mounties faced a team they have come up short against in the first round of state playoffs three consecutive years.
The Liberty girls came out with the same intensity and passion they have all year, and not only avenged the three losses, but dominated the game from start to finish, sweeping Holy Redeemer 3-0 to move on to the next round of play.
The first set was where Liberty asserted themselves as the better team, and set the tone for how the game would unfold.
The set started off close, with Holy Redeemer getting out to a quick lead of 4-2, but things slowly turned in favor of the Liberty team as the set progressed. The Mounties clawed back to tie the game at six, and behind some stellar plays by Minyo, they took a 10-7 lead and never looked back.
The Royals boasted a player in Livia Moore who had recorded more than 500 kills this season, but the Liberty team made her a complete non-factor throughout the first set, cruising to a convincing 25-14 win and a 1-0 set lead.
The Mounties continued their stellar play in the second set of action, where they were able to seamlessly use a strong defense to set up their offensive sets.
The opening of the set started out the same as the first, with both teams trading blows, and a few errors on both sides left Liberty once again trailed early at 5-4. They were once again able to string together a run behind the aggressive play of Minyo, who helped push the Mounites to 15-8 lead.
The Royals put together a mini-run late but were unable to come up with an answer to the all-around team play of the Mounties as they closed the second set out at a score of 25-18.
The Mounties completely took over in the third set, and the Royals looked completely outclassed by the end of the contest while the Liberty team strung together their best set of the night, and put away their oponent by a set score of 25-10 and completed a 3-0 sweep over the Royals.
The Mounties continued their incredible season in the second of states as well, when they took down the Panther Valley team in yet another 3-0 sweep.
The game was much closer than the score implied, with the Panther Valley team pushing the score to 25-20 in each three sets, and showed a massive amount of mental toughness throughout the contest.
The Mounties were too much though, and were led by strong performances by Grace Tice who has had an outstanding season after not seeing much playing time last year, and led the way for the Mounites with 13 kills, five digs and three blocks. She was able to come up with her 100th block during the contest as well.
Minyo continued her hot streak in states with 12 kills and 14 digs. Ali Koval had perhaps her best defensive game of the season and was all over the gym, coming up with big play after big play on her way to 28 digs, 16 serve receives and was phenominal for the Mounties.
The Mounties continue their clean sweep through the state playoffs in a matchup against Trinity on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Shamokin for the quarterfinals.