Dunmore’s Shannon Czekaj, center, celebrates with her teammates after winning a point against Blue Ridge. Photo by Butch Comegys

Dunmore’s Shannon Czekaj, center, celebrates with her teammates after winning a point against Blue Ridge.
Photo by Butch Comegys

Good Friday to you all.

BlueRidgeWell, last night certainly had its tension now didn’t it. WOW! Look, I am used to going to a high school football or basketball game where the crowd is intense and loud and energetic, and where tempers can sometimes get the best of fans and students, and even players. But, rarely do you see a playoff atmosphere inside a gym for a volleyball match. With all due respect, of course, to the great North Pocono teams and the extremely entertaining Student Section that used to follow that group from gym to gym. That’s what it reminded me of last night.

Blue Ridge and Dunmore are two of the best teams in our area. Without question. So, after Blue Ridge beat Dunmore in their first meeting earlier this season (which I did, in fact, miss because it was played on a Saturday morning and I apologize), that is going to bring out the buckspassionate Dunmore fan base. The athletes in that school just love competition and always, it seems, rise to the occasion and in doing so, they all support each other when it’s time to represent the school in a big match or game.

So #TheUnion came out in full force and brought with it a very loud message. The Lady Bucks, in return, gave one of their best efforts and defeated Blue Ridge, 3-2, in one of the most fiercely contested matches I have ever seen.

It started with a salute to Dunmore’s only senior, Erika Bistran. Then, she went out and put on a show for the rowdy crowd. The Lady Bucks jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a 25-19 win in Game 1.

Here are some highlights: 

 

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But, Blue Ridge came into the match undefeated for a reason, it has talented players. And once they settled down, they played very well. Hayleigh Fekette and Kandace Smith gave the team a jolt and the Lady Raiders surged ahead, 2-1, with a 25-18 win in Game 2 and a 25-22 win in Game 3. That also quieted the Student Section briefly as it tried to collect its breath having used almost as much energy as the players.

Dunmore senior Erika Bistran had 22 kills in win over Blue Ridge. Photo by Butch Comegys

Dunmore senior Erika Bistran had 22 kills in win over Blue Ridge.
Photo by Butch Comegys

Once they charged up again, so too did the Lady Bucks. And Bistran would not be denied. She almost willed the team to a win in Game 4, 25-22, and Marlena Pegula began to establish herself.

In the race to 15 in the deciding Game 5, Dunmore did exactly what a team needs to do to win in the tiebreaker — It got out to a big early lead. After the Lady Bucks established a 4-point advantage, it made it very difficult for Blue Ridge to rally. Dunmore took it 15-7.

So, the two Lackawanna League heavyweights have played two matches:

Match 1: Blue Ridge won, 3-2 (29-27, 15-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-10)

Match 2: Dunmore won, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-7)

Average margin of victory in the Games: 5.1 points.

That is about as close as two matches can get in girls volleyball. And believe it or not, there is a chance at a Round 3.

Blue Ridge still leads the Lackawanna League with a 15-1 record. The Lady Raiders play Monday at Forest City and finish the season Tuesday at home against Abington Heights (13-3). If they can sweep those two matches, they will clinch the Lackawanna League crown, their first since 2007.

Dunmore (15-2) is trailing in the standings by one-half match. The Lady Bucks finish Tuesday at Elk Lake. The Lady Bucks are hoping for a win and Blue Ridge to stumble to tie for first place.

And I am guessing, but I because all other Lackawanna League sports must break ties to determine champions for district seeding, if Blue Ridge and Dunmore finish with the same record we will get an epic championship match.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s enjoy this outstanding high school match.

Here are more highlights: 

 

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WVC

OK, Delaware Valley is at 12-0 heading into tonight’s match against North Pocono (7-6).

DVlogo1If Delaware Valley finishes out the season undefeated — in my best master of the obvious voice — it wins the Wyoming Valley Conference Championship. It is also in good shape to have a top seed for the District 2-11 Class 4A subregional playoffs.

Now, District 11 is LOADED!

  • Liberty is No. 1 in the state according to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll
  • Parkland is No. 3
  • Emmaus is No. 7

So, grabbing a top seed would give the Lady Warriors a fighting chance to advance and get a chance to test their skills against the best in the state. And that would be a great experience regardless of the outcome.

trojans_north_pocono_boys_varsity_basketball_winter_06-07North Pocono is in a heck of a fight for a postseason berth. The Lady Trojans are 7-6 overall and are seventh in the District 2 Class 3A standings. Now, this is tricky. Only six teams qualify for the playoffs in the District 2-4 Class 3A subregional. There are three (3) automatic spots awarded to WVC teams, one (1) to a Lackawanna League team, one (1) to District 4 Shamokin (7-4) as long as it maintains a .500 record, and one (1) wild card.

Right now: 

  • WVC: Nanticoke (10-2); Crestwood (9-2); Berwick (9-4)
  • Lackawanna: Abington Heights (13-3)
  • District 4: Shamokin (7-4)
  • Wild card: Western Wayne (10-6)

North Pocono would need to close out its season on a heck of a run to earn a better record than Nanticoke, Crestwood, Berwick and Western Wayne. But anything is possible in sports.

Here are your District 2 standings:

As of October 14, 2016

As of October 14, 2016

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TOP 5

1. Delaware Valley (12-0). Next: Tonight at North Pocono

2t. Blue Ridge (15-1). Next: Monday at Forest City

2t. Dunmore (15-2). Next: Tuesday at Elk Lake

4. Abington Heights (13-3). Next: Today vs. Forest City

5. Western Wayne (10-6). Next: Tuesday at Susquehanna

NOTE: The annual Scranton Showdown Tournament is scheduled for SATURDAY morning beginning at 9 a.m. at Riversfront Sports Complex.

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STANDINGS

LACKAWANNA LEAGUE

W

L

Blue Ridge

15

1

Dunmore

15

2

Abington Heights

13

3

Western Wayne

10

6

Forest City

8

7

Montrose

6

11

Elk Lake

5

11

Susquehanna

4

13

Mountain View

3

13

Lackawanna Trail

2

14

WYOMING VALLEY CONFERENCE

W

L

Delaware Valley

12

0

Holy Redeemer

12

1

Nanticoke

10

2

Crestwood

9

2

Wyoming Valley West

9

3

Berwick

9

4

Pittston Area

8

5

North Pocono

7

6

Hanover Area

6

6

Lake-Lehman

5

6

Hazleton Area

5

7

MMI Prep

4

8

Meyers

4

8

Dallas

4

9

Tunkhannock

4

9

Wyoming Area

2

10

GAR

1

12

Coughlin

0

13

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HONOR ROLL

Bistran

Bistran

Erika Bistran

Dunmore

Had 22 kills and 12 points in a win over Blue Ridge and had 66 kills for the week.

 

 

 

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Domzalski

Domzalski

Sam Domzalski

Dunmore

Had 4 kills and 26 assists in the win over Blue Ridge and has 95 assists in her last four matches.

 

 

 

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Volovka

Volovka

Kristin Volavka

Delaware Valley

Had 24 service points and 29 assists in a win over Dallas.

 

 

 

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Williams

Williams

Brooke Williams

Delaware Valley

Had 21 kills in two matches this week.

 

 

 

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Fekette

Fekette

Hayleigh Fekette

Blue Ridge

Had 11 kills and 19 assists and 5 aces against Dunmore, and had 10 aces in a win over Elk Lake, 17 assists and six kills in a win over Forest City.

 

 

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McDuffie

McDuffie

Jasmine McDuffie

Abington Heights

Had 14 points and five aces in a win over Western Wayne, and added six aces and 16 points against Mountain View in a win and 16 points, five kills and 12 digs in a win over Susquehanna.

 

 

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Booths

Booths

Laura Booths

Western Wayne

Had nine kills and 12 points in a win over Lackawanna Trail and had four kills in loss to Abington Heights.

 

 

 

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Bray

Bray

Hannah Bray

North Pocono

Had four kills and six points in a win over Wyoming Area.

 

 

 

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That’s it for today.

Now, I am booked pretty solid for the next few days with football and tennis, so please bear with me. I truly am trying, but I am only one man.

And next year, let’s not play any matches on Saturday morning, OK!

As always. … ENJOY!