Apollo-Ridge earns first win over Wildcats
KITTANNING — The Apollo-Ridge girls volleyball team could have given up after Kittanning ran away with an easy 25-21 win in their first game Thursday night.
But the Vikings didn’t.
They remained focused, they executed and won the next three games to earn a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Wildcats.
“I thought we did well tonight,” Apollo-Ridge head coach Royanne Brayshaw said. “We came back. We could have put our heads down after that first game and said forget it, but they fought back, got down in the second game, and they fought back (and won). I’m just proud of the way they fought back.”
Even though Kittanning won the first game 25-21, the Wildcats were in control throughout behind the strong serving of junior Megan Krukar and senior Shannon Atwood. Krukar serve was dominating throughout the match. She finished with five aces and 14 service points.
As a team, Kittanning had only six errors off their serve, but mental errors and lack of focus kept them from pulling out close games with Apollo-Ridge.
In the second game, with Kittanning holding an early lead over Apollo-Ridge, the Vikings came storming back and lead 20-14, taking advantage of a couple Wildcats lapses. Kittanning came together to make a late push but they were never able to close the lead to less than five. Apollo-Ridge won the game 25-20.
Kittanning had momentum going into the third game. With Krukar serving, the Wildcats built a commanding 7-1 lead. But, when the Wildcats played the ball into the Viking’s side. The ball hit the ground in play and was quickly hit into the air by a diving Apollo-Ridge player. Officials let play continue even though Kittanning protested as the play continued. The Vikings won the point and, at the same time, deflated much of Kittanning’s motivation.
Thirteen points later, Apollo-Ridge tied the game 11-11. Both teams exchanged the next eight points, but with the game tied 15-15, the Vikings took control eventually winning 25-20.
In the fourth game, Kittanning held a 10-9 lead due to serveral great defensive plays by senior Jade Lamison . But, again, it wasn’t enough as Apollo-Ridge took control again and held a 23-16 lead at one point before closing out a 25-20 win.
Atwood had five kills and 12 points off her serve. Melissa Kemp led the Wildcats with six kills and Lamison finished with eight saves.