Tamaqua 'serves' Jim Thorpe loss
Steve Shinko/Special to THE TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe's Melissa Weber (15) and Alexandria Ventrella go up to try and block a tap from Tamaqua's Paige Baddick (10) during Monday's girls volleyball game at Jim Thorpe. Looking on for the Olympians is Brittany Holland (21).
A consistent serve is always a key component in any volleyball match.
Just ask Sarah Lesisko, who currently holds the program's record for consecutive service points (17) at Tamaqua Area High School.
Her team's serving skills helped lead the Blue Raiders to victory last night, as they topped their Schuylkill League Division I opponent Jim Thorpe, 25-12, 25-13, and 25-7.
"We just try to get all of our serves in," Lesisko said. "It's really important to get them in. I don't know … just get them all in if you can. If you have a real good day then you had a good game."
"Our team is full of good servers," Tamaqua head coach Stacy Setlock added. "The girls work really hard together on it (serving)."
The Olympians' Brittany Holland also showed that she has a good serve as she helped her team open with a 4-0 run. But, it soon turned into a back-and-forth contest as the two league rivals tied the game up six times.
That was before Sarah Paluck provided a spark to the Raiders' offensive, putting the last tie (9-9) behind them for good. The junior Raider scored six of her nine service points during a 7-0 rally, which gave the Raiders a 16-9 edge.
Lesisko then put the finishing touches on a 25-12 first game with three straight service points.
Lesisko scored half of her 17 service points in the second game, with a total of seven of her 12 aces on that match.
"Absolutely, it was the difference in the match," Jim Thorpe head coach Mary Horvat said of the Blue Raiders' success at the service line. "I mean service return is our weakest portion of our game. We work on it every day."
It didn't get any better for the Olympians during the last match.
In the final game, it was a solid Raiders' attack from the line and net, which prevented Jim Thorpe from getting a chance of forcing another game.
Blue Raiders' senior Stacey Wallace compiled the rest of her game totals five service points and seven kills.
"They're a skilled team all-around and their intensity increases every game," Setlock said. "They have a very strong passion for the game and they're aggressive offensively and defensively.
"They weren't upbeat as usual, but they still pushed hard and played strong at the net."
Tamaqua improved to 2-1 overall (2-1 SL) with the win, while Jim Thorpe slipped to 0-4 (0-3 SL).