The Lady Gators remained undefeated in North Tier League play last Thursday, coming up with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18) victory on Cameron County’s home court.
“The girls played excellent defense and a very well-rounded offense,” head coach Sharon Daniels said. “Kelsey Pistner had a banner night at the net with 13 kills and two blocks, and defensively had 12 digs. Joining in the offensive effort were Kyley Mickle with a personal best in kills with nine, 13 assists, 8 service points, Alyssa Bowser played well all around with six kills, 23 digs, two blocks and 10 service points, Renee Edgell with seven big kills, and Jenny Shelley with 16 service points, three kills, 15 assists and six digs. Becky Andrus really picked up her game tonight and played a very tight defense with 32 digs and added 15 service points to the board. Freshman Rachel Taylor chipped in with two kills and two big blocks.”
On Monday night, Port ran up against a tough Elk County Catholic squad, falling to the Crusaders 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-10, 25-21) in a non-league match.
“We were slow starting in the first set and then came back to life in the second. That was not to last long, though, and we never got going at all in the third. The fourth found us with a 10-point deficit and we came back to within three before losing 25-21,” Daniels said.
She continued, “Although we came up on the losing side, we had much that was positive. Both Kelsey Pistner (15) and Renee Edgell (13) recorded match highs in kills. The team remained composed even when trailing.”
Becky Andrus added 30 digs, Jenny Shelley 14 assists, and Kyley Mickle 13 assists for the Lady Gators, 3-2 (3-0 NTL) heading into Tuesday night’s match against Smethport. They’ll be on the road for the next two matches, traveling to Oswayo Valley Thursday and Otto-Eldred next Tuesday.
The young Gator squad got to see one of the best squads in District 9 on Tuesday, when Oswayo Valley swept the top five places in a dominating 15-50 victory on Port Allegany’s 3.08-mile course. Green Wave freshman Barrett Kemp shattered the course record, crossing the line in a time of 18:45.
“I told our kids, ‘Don’t be disappointed when you don’t win this meet. They’re just that good,’” Port coach Fran Reilly said.
Aaron Majot (22:47) finished sixth to lead the Gators, with Jameson Haskins (24:20), Lucas Manning (26:05), and Bryan Pritt (26:06) rounding out the top 10.
The junior high team edged OV 27-28, with Adam Koehler (11:49, second place) setting a new personal best and Logan Hutton (14:03) and Steven Blankenship (14:07) also earning top-five finishes. A trip to Rochester for Saturday morning’s McQuaid Invitational is up next on the schedule.
With trips to the Smethport Invitational (Friday morning, 9 a.m.) and next Tuesday’s District 9 Championships at Pennhills remaining on the schedule, the Gators conclude their Penn-York League season by matching last year’s 4-8 record.
Led by Lynea Gustafson, who’s making a strong bid to repeat as Penn-York League MVP, the Lady Gators have already won twice and come close a couple of other times.
“It’s definitely nice to get the squad some wins,” coach Dave Roae said. “It’s been a few years.” Asked if Gustafson has picked up where she left off last year, he added, “She’s picked up – and then some, lowering her stroke average from 48 to between 42 and 43 shots per round.” Roae also mentioned Alesha Shatley’s improvement; the junior has cut four to five shots off her average, and is now consistently recording scores in the mid-50s.
At Emporium on Monday, Port’s top three golfers played Cameron County to a draw, but the Red Raiders barely managed to eke out a 29.5-25.5 victory. Gustafson carded a 45 to earn medalist honors, as she has in every match this season; Shatley (56) and Cora Bova (57) also finished in the top five, with Sasha Fischer (67) and Amber Fischer (69) rounding out the squad.
Roae noted, “Lynea had another nice round. The greens were just punched yesterday, so putting was a little difficult for most of the girls. The whole team had better scores than the last time we were there.”
The Gators, now 2-6 on the season, will head back to Emporium Country Club for the league tournament on Thursday morning.
The Gators’ undefeated streak in the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League came to an end last Thursday with a 3-0 loss at Smethport.
“We played flat in the first half,” coach Aaron Clark admitted. “We were better in the second half, but we’d dug ourselves too big a hole. We had some chances; we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
It didn’t take long for Port to find the win column again, though, as they used a late goal by Sam Kysor – his second of the game – to outlast Brockway 5-4 in the team’s long-awaited home opener.
“We jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first 15 or 20 minutes – which surprised me, because Brockway’s better than that,” Clark said. The Rovers proved his point, roaring back to tie the score before Kysor’s game-winner. “Definitely one of those ‘tale of two halves’ games,” the coach added.
With the Brockway win safely in the scorebook, the 5-3 (4-1 league) Gators face two more challenges this week, taking on a dangerous Coudersport team at home on Wednesday before visiting defending UAVSL North champion Elk County Catholic on Friday.
With the team’s goals of a 10-win season and a playoff berth in mind, “I’m comfortable with where we’re at,” Clark said.
After dropping games to Smethport (3-2) and Genesee Valley (3-0) last week, the Lady Gators rebounded with a solid 3-0 win at Ridgway on Tuesday night. Sophomore Jordan Edgell stopped 19 shots to record her first career shutout, and Kaylee Kio, Amarae Reinard, and Bryanna Evans all found the net for Port. “The defense really stepped up,” coach Travis Cowburn said.
Now 3-5 (3-2 UAVSL), Port is off until next Monday afternoon, when they make the long trip to Curwensville.