By BRIAN HAGBERG and JOSH COTTON
Emotion, controversy and a refusal to quit dominated the volleyball court Thursday at Warren Area High School.
Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg
One last kill
Above, Warren senior Rachel Hasselman puts down a kill against Franklin in her final game for the Dragons Thursday at Warren Area High School. Below, Ashley Barker dives for a dig.
Franklin came away with a 3-1 win, ending Warren's season. The young Dragons squad gave coach Mike Dolan plenty to look forward to next season with the way they battled throughout the game.
"We finally got our offense going," Dolan said.
Warren jumped out to an early 12-6 lead in game one. Franklin answered with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 12-12. The teams then traded points to a 20-20 tie. The Knights held off the Dragons for a 25-22 win.
THE EISENHOWER PORTION OF THE VOLLEYBALL ARTICLE WILL BE PUBLISHED IN SATURDAY'S TIMES OBSERVER.
The Dragons opened game two with a 5-0 run, with lone Dragon senior Rachel Hasselman serving four straight points. The Knights tried to rally, but Warren was able to answer every time and came away with a 25-15 win to even the match at one game apiece.
"I think the game meant a lot to Rachel," Dolan said. "The (rest of) the girls rallied around her and wanted to win for her."
Both teams traded points in game three, with Warren building a 16-11 advantage. Franklin rallied to tie the game at 20-20. The Dragons grabbed a 23-22 lead on a controversial call from the official, who said that a Warren kill that landed out of bounds was tipped by a Franklin player as the ball went over the net. The Knights were able to tie the game at 24-24 before winning in extra points, 26-24.
Franklin appeared to have all the momentum going into game four, racing out to a 6-2 lead. Warren rallied to pull within two at 11-9 before Franklin went on a 4-0 run to build a 15-9 advantage. Trailing 18-12, the Dragons rallied to tie the game at 20-20. Both teams then traded points to play to a 24-24 tie. Franklin went up 25-24, but Warren tied. The Dragons then went up 26-25, but the Knights tied. Warren again took the lead, only to see Franklin tie the game.
Back and forth the teams went to a 30-30 tie, with many of the points highly contested by the Franklin coaching staff. Franklin was able to serve out the final two points to earn a 32-30 win.
"Twice we had them on the ropes, and couple of times got (the play) we wanted, but couldn't put it away," Dolan said. "I can't complain about the effort."
Rachel Lasecki led the Dragons with 23 kills. Valerie Latimer had four aces and four kills, McKenzie Merenick added 25 digs and Hasselman closed out her high school career with 22 digs, nine service points and four kills.
Dolan said that Allie Morrison played some nice defense and served tough in the loss.
Franklin won the JV contest 25-8 and 25-15. Jennifer Daugharthy had three kills and MacKenzie Rehe had two kills for the Dragons.
Warren finished the season with a 7-7 record.
Ridgway 3, Sheffield 0
"They're getting better and better over the last six games" said Traci Vile, Sheffield volleyball coach.
The Wolverines (0-16) dropped their final match on Thursday as they dropped a three-game decision to Ridgway, 15-25, 19-25, 15-25.
Vile said that her Wolverines "played so well as a team. They gave the crowd a good show.
"The seniors played their best game of the year and were getting digs," she said. "They didn't quit."
Juli Ely led with eight service points, but Vile said that "it was a good overall team effort. It's tough to give credit to anyone in particular."
Titusville 3, Eisenhower 0
TITUSVILLE - Eisenhower dropped its regular season finale Thursday with a 3-0 loss to to Titusville at Titusville Area High School.
The Knights played right with the region champion Rockets in the first set, losing 21-25. However, Titusville dominated the next two sets with victories of 8-25, 13-25.
Jessica Byrd led the team with 18 digs and teammate Kelsey Repke also had "a good amount of digs," according to Knights coach Tom Firth. Lexi Dalrymple added four kills and four blocks and Courtney Flynn chipped in four kills.
Ike's junior varsity team dropped an 8-25, 11-25 decision.
Eisenhower (6-10) starts the District 10 Class A playoffs Tuesday at Meadville Area High School.