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Tigers advance

Published October 27. 2012 09:01AM

Northwestern volleyball achieved another milestone for the program by defeating North Schuylkill in the first round of the District 11 playoffs, 18-25, 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 15-10. The win marks the first District playoff victory for the Tigers volleyball program.

After dropping the first set and falling behind early in the second, coach Hufnagle took a timeout. The timeout provided a spark for the Tigers, as they came back to win the set and also win the third.

Northwestern was unable to shake North Schuylkill, dropping the fourth and setting up a decisive fifth set. The Tigers' had been resilient all season and showed resolve again on this night, coming back to win the fifth set and move on in the District 11 playoffs.

"This is the first time we had to go five games this season," coach Dave Hufnagle said. "We made plays when we had to."

Northwestern was led by Trista Cunningham, who had 17 kills, two blocks and five aces. Sara Hufnagle dished out 29 assists. Jenny Von Holt had six kills and three aces. Mariana Valencia had nine digs and five aces.

The win is a stepping stone for the program, one that finished the season 8-6 and is playing varsity-level volleyball for the first time.

"We had some goals this season and so far we've met them," coach Hufnagle said. "We want to see how far we can go."

Northwestern's next opponent will be Bethlehem Catholic, one of the top seeds in the tournament. Coach Hufnagle knows that Bethlehem Catholic presents a challenge for his team, but believes the Tigers are ready.

"Playing one of the top seeds (Bethlehem Catholic) will be tough and our expectatios will be different," coach Hufnagle said. "We will need to be more consistent when we play tomorrow."

Before the season, coach Hufnagle said that he wanted his team to improve from beginning to end, make districts and see where they went from there.

With the victory over North Schuylkill, Northwestern can add to its list of goals from the beginning of the season and continue to add to the history they have created this year.

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