Gator volleyball drops pair of close matches

With the District 9 volleyball playoffs a week away, Port Allegany ran into two teams looking to do some postseason damage, dropping a four-set match (25-22, 25-15, 19-25, 26-24) on defending North Tier League champ Otto-Eldred’s home court before pushing Coudersport to five sets on Senior Night at the Gator gym.

“The team came right out and played good power volleyball. We just couldn’t hang onto the edge,” coach Sharon Daniels said after the loss to the Terrors on “Dig Pink” night.

Rachel Taylor (18 kills, 10 blocks), Renee Edgell (16 kills, 12 digs, 2 blocks), and Becca Culver (7 kills, 5 blocks) did most of the heavy hitting for the Port squad, with Jenny Shelley (23 assists) and Kyley Mickle (13 assists) setting them up and Becky Andrus (29 digs) leading the defense.

The Gators battled Coudy to the end on Tuesday, but the Falcons eked out a fifth-set win to take the match 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 14-25, 15-12. Andrus was all over the court on defense, finishing the match with 62 digs in addition to serving for 10 points. Taylor (19 kills, 5 blocks, 11 service points) and Edgell (12 kills, 1 block and 16 digs) again led the Port attack on passes from Mickle (22 assists, 6 kills, 3 blocks) and Shelley (21 assists, 7 kills, 10 digs).

“The girls played hard. All moved well on defense and offense was very effective,” Daniels said. “We let down in the fourth game and allowed too many service points to be served off us. We came back strong in the fifth, and after falling behind, slowly chipped away to cut their lead to three points. In the end we just couldn’t pull it off and lost by three. It was truly a heartbreaker.”

Now 7-7 overall and 6-7 in league, Port travels to Northern Potter on Thursday for the regular-season finale.

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