The Port Allegany volleyball team ran its winning streak to seven matches, including North Tier League victories over Galeton and Austin to stay atop the league standings, before Olean High finally managed to halt their run in a non-league contest on Saturday morning.
The Lady Gators began their busy week with a trip to Youngsville, sweeping the Eagles 25-19, 25-14, 25-12 with Jenna Sprankle dishing out 14 assists and Kayla Pesock (five kills, four blocks) and Kalyn Naylor (three kills, six blocks) doing most of the damage at the net.
The next night, they were back in the PAHS gym to host Galeton, the only team to knock off defending champion Otto-Eldred so far in NTL play. After falling behind by as many as six points in the first set, Port surged back to tie the score at 23, then finished off the 25-23 win on a kill by Erin Stauffer to take a 1-0 lead.
“We knew coming in that Galeton was going to be scrappy. That’s what everyone’s been telling us, and we watched a couple of games and they get a hand on everything,” Port coach Pam Terrette said. “We knew they were going to be scrappy, so we had to be just as scrappy, not let anything hit the floor.”
After the Lady Gators cruised to a 25-11 win in the second game, Galeton responded with a run to game point at 24-15 in the third. Once again, Port rallied, but this time the Lady Tigers managed to get the point they needed for a 25-21 win.
Despite the setback, the balance of power was shifting to Port’s side of the court. With Sprankle dealing three aces, the home team roared to an 8-0 lead in the next game, pulling away for a 25-12 win to close out the match.
“I told them because we came back from that deficit in the first (game), when we got down in the third I said, ‘We came back from this in the first, so don’t give up. Fight all the way to the end.’ They got the momentum going, and carried that into the fourth,” Terrette said.
Sprankle finished with 18 assists and eight aces, with Stauffer (13 digs, four kills, four aces), Pesock (seven kills, seven digs, three aces), and Kierra Keck (eight kills) all contributing to the win.
“I think it was a well-rounded win,” Terrette said. “What really helped us was our serving. We had 24 aces, I can’t ask for any better serving than that, and we had a lot of good digging in the back row tonight. Erin played good defense back there.”
The brooms were back out on Thursday night in Austin as Port downed the winless Lady Panthers, 25-11, 25-16, 25-14 behind the work of Sprankle (22 assists, 15 service points), Pesock (eight kills, five digs), Keck (five kills, three blocks, six points), and Naylor (six kills, nine points).
On Saturday, the Gator girls kept it close at Olean, but the once-beaten Huskies had just enough to pull out a 28-26, 25-18, 19-25, 25-23 win, dropping Port to 7-2 (6-0 NTL) despite 18 assists from Sprankle, seven putaways from Keck, and four kills from Naylor.
This week’s action will go a long way toward sorting out the North Tier standings, with Port hosting Otto-Eldred on Monday before traveling to Smethport on Wednesday, then Coudersport on Thursday for a rematch with the Falcons.
Of her team, she noted, “They’re playing strong when they need to play strong. There’s a couple times they’ve let up, but they pull themselves back together.”
Next week: Cameron County, Oct. 2; at Oswayo Valley, Oct. 4.