Lesisko leads Raider spikers to win
Lesisko is a household name in the Jim Thorpe Area School District (in reference to High School Principal Mr. Thomas Lesisko).
Last night at Tamaqua, the Olympians' volleyball team got to know another Lesisko up close and personal.
Unfortunately for Jim Thorpe, it wasn't a very cordial introduction.
Tamaqua sophomore Sarah Lesisko ripped off a career-high 20 service points, including 11 aces, in leading the host Raiders to a three-game Schuylkill League victory over Jim Thorpe (25-10, 25,21, 25-20). With the win, Tamaqua improves to 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the League.
Lesisko wasted no time in making her presence felt.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the opening game, Lesisko used her hard line-drive serve to her advantage and reeled off 13 straight service points, eight of which were aces, to give Tamaqua a commanding 14-1 lead.
"I just wanted to be consistent with my serves tonight and get them over," stated Lesisko. "I really didn't do anything differently, I just tried to be smart by picking my spots and finding holes in their defense."
"Serving is definitely one of Sarah's strengths and she certainly showed that in the first game" added Tamaqua head coach Stacy Setlock. "By jumping out to that big lead, I think it helped motivate the entire team for the rest of the game.
Lesisko (whose father ironically enough is also named Thomas Lesisko, and are distant cousins to the Jim Thorpe Principal) finished off the game with two straight service points for the 25-10 victory.
"Our serve receive was horrible tonight," noted Jim Thorpe head coach Mary Horvat. "I'm still waiting for the team that played Lehighton (in the Olympians first home game) to show up. If I can get that team out on the court, I think that we'd be able to give other teams a run for their money."
As it turned out, Jim Thorpe gave the Raiders a run for their money in the second game. In fact, the Olympians held a 13-10 edge and had Tamaqua on the ropes before Lesisko once again rallied the troops with three consecutive aces.
However, with the score tied a 19-19, the Olympians proved to be their own worst enemy, as the Raiders scored the next four points off Jim Thorpe mistakes (a service error, two hitting errors and an ace), en route to the four-point win (25-21).
Despite the game two victory, Tamaqua was plagued by sloppiness that included five service errors, four hitting errors, two carries and one net violation.
"I think we might have gotten big heads after the way the first game played out," said Setlock. "We did not play smart or fundamental volleyball at all that second game and overpasses, bad serves and an overall lack of communication killed us."
The Olympians had Tamaqua on its heels for most of the third game as well and took a 17-14 lead off a four-point service run by Caitlin McArdle. However, Tamaqua's Stacey Wallace answered back with a six point run of her own, which included three kills by Tiffany Billman. Sarah Paluck then closed the door on the match with back-to-back aces.
"We beat ourselves tonight, plain and simple," noted Horvat regarding her team's 17 hitting errors and nine service errors. "We had ample opportunities to close out the second and third games and we shot ourselves in the foot. You can't make the mistakes that we made tonight and expect to win volleyball games."
Aside from Lesisko's stellar performance behind the service line, Stacey Wallace added eight points, four aces and seven kills for the Raiders, while Billman factored in with seven kills. Paige Baddick dished off 14 assists and Sarah Paluck accounted for five digs, four kills and three points.
For Jim Thorpe (1-7, 0-4), Brittany Holland and Caitlin McArdle had five kills apiece, while Jill Andrews added 18 digs and Marissa Cantelmi notched 12 assists. McArdle also led the Olympians with nine service points (two aces).
In the JV game, Tamaqua remained undefeated (8-0) on the season with a 25-10, 25-9 victory.