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Lady Rams spiked by Peters Township

CARROLL TWP. — The Ringgold and Peters Township girls’ volleyball teams are so evenly matched that last night’s contest came down to a couple of close calls and even the Ringgold gymnasium ground rules.

Unfortunately for the Lady Rams, their own court’s rules backfired on them.

Peters Township won the first two games and held on for a 3-1 Class AAA Sec. 2 victory.

The set-up at Ringgold requires that the benches are close to the court. For safety reasons, a blue line that players may not cross is taped in front of both benches. Three times, including on match point, a Lady Rams’ effort was nullified because she crossed the tape while retrieving a ball.

“It’s really a shame, because we played so hard,” Ringgold coach Sandy Smith said. “I hate it when you see such great effort not be rewarded.”

The Lady Indians (7-0, 7-0) won the first two games, 25-22 and 25-23. Ringgold stormed back to take the third game, 25-22. But Peters Township took the match by winning the fourth game, 25-22.

The Lady Rams and Lady Indians are the top two teams in Sec. 2 and will meet again at Peters Township on the last night of the regular season.

When the two teams meet again, Ringgold (6-1, 6-1) will not change how it plays.

“I’ve scouted Peters Township, and they’re very good,” Smith said. “But we know what their weaknesses are, and when we play them again, we’ll play the same way.”

Peters Township was unable to handle Ringgold’s Christina DeMarco, a powerful player who consistently bashed kills to help pull Ringgold back from the 2-0 deficit.

“They couldn’t stop DeMarco,” Smith said. “She played very well tonight.

They never had an answer for her. But it’s not just about DeMarco. Everyone on the team has to play well and do a good job of setting her up.”

Ringgold has suffered from occasional mental lapses throughout the season, and last night was no exception.

Peters Township went on runs of 9-0, 7-0, and 6-0 in the first two games. Each time, Smith called a time out to re-focus the Lady Rams. The time-outs worked to an extent, but not enough to salvage either of the first two games.

Kelly Hogan and Katy Beasley were Petera Township’s most effective players.

“They’re tough to play against because they change things up so well,” Smith said.

The third game was the most competitive, with the lead changing hands four times. Ringgold finally won the game when Abby Holbrook blasted a hit off Hogan and out of bounds.

“I love the way we came back,” Smith said. “Unfortunately some of the calls at the end hurt us even more because we put ourselves in that deficit.”

Two players, one from each team, perform line judge duties in WPIAL volleyball because of lack of officials. The Peters Township player twice made calls in the Lady Indians’ favor that were not well received by Ringgold.

“These freshman and sophomore kids that make these calls are novices,” she said. “It shouldn’t come down to that.”

The referees had the option to overrule the calls, but said they were blocked from the plays.

Ringgold was down 17-11 and 22-17 in the final game, but again roared back to make it 24-22 in favor of the Lady Indians. Ringgold’s Melodie Menzer made a tremendous play to return a Peters Township shot on match point, but stepped over the blue line in doing so, giving Peters Township the point, and the match.

“Peters is good, but I love how we played,” Smith said. “I’m very pleased with our effort and our performance tonight.”


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