Indians win crown
special to the times news Lehighton seniors pose with the Moutain Valley Conference volleyball championship trophy. From left, are, Sheena White, Madeline Zurn, Lauren Jankowski, Molly Harleman, Amanda Windbeck and Rachel Inghram.
POCONO SUMMIT - Rachel Quinn couldn't have imagined it going any better.
Quinn's Lady Indians pulled out two tight games before blowing out Pleasant Valley in the third game to capture their second consecutive MVC Volleyball championship. Lehighton won 25-22, 26-24, 25-12 en route to beating the Bears for the sixth time in their last seven meetings.
"Tonight was great," said Quinn. "We really played as a team and everyone did their part. Everyone came together and we didn't give in. Even when (Pleasant Valley) would pull ahead a little bit, we just had that fight in us and we ended up playing one of our best matches of the season."
Pleasant Valley went up early in the first game before Lehighton came storming back to tie the score. The Bears would again pull ahead 22-17, but the Indians were not about to give up. Lehighton scored eight consecutive points to come from behind and win on a Bears' hit out of bounds, 25-22.
Even though her team had just pulled off an amazing come back and had stolen all of the momentum, Quinn wouldn't let her girls get ahead of themselves.
"Pleasant Valley is a tough, tough team and you never know," Quinn said. "Our goal was to take baby steps and take it one step at a time, one match at a time. We weren't trying to get ourselves overconfident. We just wanted to focus on the task at hand and take it one game at a time."
Game two was a tight one throughout as well. The game was tied late at 22 and then again at 24 before the Indians claimed victory. Sheena White had two kills in a row - the first being a monster spike - and had her Indians thinking sweep.
Perhaps smelling blood in the water, Lehighton dominated the third game and made the sweep complete. The Indians came out on fire and went up 5-1 prior to Pleasant Valley calling timeout. It didn't help however, as Lehighton went up by ten (21-11) at one point and eventually went on to win the game.
"We are young and we made our share of youthful mistakes tonight," said Pleasant Valley head coach John Gesiskie. "I was somewhat pleased with our play in the first two games - the third game I wasn't too happy - but I think we played hard.
"It was nice to get back (to the championship game) after missing the last two years, especially with the young girls that we have. I think some of them were a little overwhelmed with the atmosphere, but I think we will be back next year. We are going in the right direction."
Quinn and her predecessor, Amy Leslie, finally had their dreams fulfilled with Thursday's victory. Quinn took over a few years ago after Leslie got the program started down the right path. Now, with their second straight conference title, everything has come full circle.
"This is what we strived for," admitted Quinn. "This is definitely something Amy and I envisioned. It is hard without a middle school program, but Coach Haberman has done an excellent job with the girls. We wouldn't have the team we have without him."