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Keystone 12s are KILLING it! (3/10/18)

By W. Keir , 03/12/18, 9:15AM EDT


   Our Keystone Juniors 12s won their 2nd Gold medals in as many weeks in KILLER fashion.  They combined for a season high with 32 KILLS as Middle Julia Richter led the team with 9 KILLS.  

   Our serving was above average today but not as dominant as it has been in the past.  We played against some good liberos and serve receive defense today.  So our 12s had to accept the challenge of playing extended rallies.

   We were 7-1 in pool play earning us the #1 seed in our pool and awarding us a Bye into the semi-finals.  We played PREVAIL who was the #2 seed in the other pool in the semi final match.  Keystone won in straight sets and advanced to the Finals to play TNT who was 7-1 in their pool play.  So it was a matchup of the 2 best teams at the tournament and the Finals met every heart stopping, gut wrenching expectation!

   Keystone Juniors opened up the 1st set with a big lead behind the strong serving of Payton Holdsworth who had 17 Aces on the day.  But TNT answered our punches and came all the way back to take a 24-23 lead.  After a timeout, we tied it up on the next play and Payton was our next server.  She was able to serve the set out to give us an exciting 26-24 victory in set 1.  TNT again responded and took set 2 defeating us 25-21.  Set 3 had long rallies and great defense by Aislin Oneill (37 digs on the day), Julia Riley (20 digs), Abby Axe and Stephanie Moyer (16 digs each).  But for the first time all season, we had 2 setters Annie Corcoran (14) and Leighton Egan (16) with double digit assists. We were leading 12-10 in a back and forth 3rd set.  TNT was serving and our first contact shanked deep about 3-4 feet pass the out of bounds line.  Julia Riley ran it down and strategically passed the ball back to the middle of the court so Keystone could extend the rally with a 3rd contact.  Our parents were standing after that hustle play and when we eventually won that rally, our parents erupted with loud cheers giving Keystone all the momentum.  Keystone 12s won the 3rd set by the score of 15-10 after Middle Vanessa Mancini (7 kills) had a KILL on match point!

   The thing that I am most proud about these girls is that they are playing way above their age level.  They are playing volleyball the right way with 3 contacts in mind and it is so exciting to see them mature each week.  (Annie Corcoran- 4 kills, Payton Holdsworth and Leighton Egan - 3 kills each, Maddie Brown -2 kills, Abby Axe, Stephanie Moyer and Aislin Oneill - 1 kill).