The Panther Valley girls volleyball team came up short against Allentown Central Catholic in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA District 11 playoffs Saturday, losing in straight sets 25-10, 25-14, 25-9.
Panther Valley came in as the seventh-seed against a Central Catholic team that was seeded second in the tournament. Central lived up to that seeding, jumping out to big leads in all three games.
Sophomore Macey Markovich had three kills and three service points for Panther Valley. Fellow sophomore Jessica Wiese had two kills and four service points and freshman Jamey Mikovich added three kills and four blocks.
Even in defeat, Panther Valley coach Nancy Filer knows her team has a strong foundation moving forward.
"We have a young team," coach Filer said. "We had a nice year and we only have one senior on the team.
That lone senior, Krystin Gates, led the Panthers in digs with 14.
"I'm excited to get back in the gym and start getting ready for next year."
Panther Valley will certainly have a lot to look forward to next year, as they will have six of their seven starters coming back.
Coach Filer spoke highly of her team and the type of character they have displayed all year.
"I couldn't be more proud of them, Filer said. "They're a great group of girls."
With the win, Central Catholic will move on and face Notre Dame-Green Pond. Central Catholic coach Laurie Corcoran knows her team will have to be at its best to advance.
"Our next game is big," said Corcoran. "Notre Dame is a very good team and we will have to play strong to beat them.
"We are going to have to be more aggressive at the net and play tough defense if we are going to win."
Panther Valley's hopes at a District 11 title may have ended with the loss to Central Catholic, but the team is in good hands with coach Filer and a strong group of core players returning next year.