The 2015 campaign has been a roller-coaster ride for the Port Allegany volleyball team, but the Lady Gators completed their season on a positive note last week with a four-match winning streak to finish the year at .500 (10-10, 9-7 North Tier League).
“The girls certainly rose to the occasion at the end of the season,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in an email to the Reporter Argus. “We had a rough go of it from the midway mark after losing Hannah Lathrop to an injury. We made a few adjustments and brought up a freshman to fill the role. Kierra Keck was definitely up for the challenge and worked so hard to compete. Her job was to block and block she did!
We moved Bri Bell back to outside (where she belonged) after playing middle the first half of the season. She was a trooper and carried a tremendous weight for the team. We filled the secondary middle position by running our setter, Mira Terrette, out of the middle. For a setter to block three positions while setting every pass is pretty amazing and Mira performed so well. She ended the season as the team’s leading blocker . . . It is completely unorthodox but we had to find a way to win and we found it!”
The Lady Gators closed out the year by sweeping the season series against Oswayo Valley (25-9, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22), Cameron County (25-17, 25-20, 25-12), and Austin (25-6, 25-14, 25-11), while celebrating Senior Night by avenging an earlier loss at Smethport with a 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22 win over the Lady Hubbers on Wednesday night.
“We played well against O-E and that play continued against Oswayo. We finally played consistently sound ball against Cameron County, Smethport and Austin,” Daniels wrote. “Pride was definitely in the works against Smethport. Coaching them last Wednesday evening was what every coach hopes for. Every skill we have worked on was executed by every player. I think it would be safe to say that the crowd got their money’s worth. We won jousts and ran quicks against a much bigger opponent. Makenzie Burr (eight kills, 23 digs) and McKaila Daniels (22 digs) passed lights out. Bri (16 kills, 15 digs) and Mira (seven kills, 35 assists, five blocks) filled their roles with confidence. Morgan Greeley and Kayla Sprankle served and defended well. Our four freshman, Keck (seven kills, three blocks), Erin Stauffer, Jenna Sprankle and Kayla Pesock performed like seasoned players. The team played controlled but not cautious. It was the most consistent ball we had played all season.”
The team is rounded out with Makayla Hults, Teddi Kaple, Savannah Gray and Giovanna Bruno, with Bell, Daniels, and Bruno the only seniors on a young roster.
“Without the contribution of all of our players we would not have experienced the success that we did,” Daniels wrote. “Due to a number of factors, we opted not to enter the state playoffs, but certainly had a memorable season.”