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Bears sweep Cards in volleyball

Published September 12. 2019 12:22PM

According to Pleasant Valley volleyball coach, John Gesiskie, his team wasn’t consistent in its three-game Eastern Pennsylvania Conference sweep of Pocono Mountain East.

But the Bears found enough rhythm to put together key runs and record a 25-13, 25-20, 25-19 victory over the Cardinals.

Pleasant Valley had a distinct height advantage at the net with Sara Frankunas, Lexi Burgos, Andrea Crilley, Cameron Caffrey, and Jackie James. In the first game, they were able to exploit the middle of the Cardinals ’ lineup.

Right from the start, the Bears jumped out to a 9-2 lead with a seven-point run. PM East was able to climb back at 14 -11, but PV scored five straight and 11 of the game’s final 13 points.

“We played a little slow,” said Gesiskie. “There was a definite heat factor in the gym and we took awhile to figure out that Pocono Mountain East came here and wanted to play ball.”

In the second game, Crilley and Ariana Thourot served the Bears to a 7-3 early lead. The Cardinals solved their midcourt issue from the first game and closed the gap to 16-15 by capitalizing on long volleys and excellent digs on the floor. At 18-16, the Bears took control as Burgos served five of the game’s last eight points.

Down 2-0, the Cardinals wouldn’t go away quietly. They started the third game strong to grab a 6-3 advantage on solid play from Amani Ellerbee, Ashley Boone, Christine Marin, and Olivia Pipolo, who was a force blocking shots at the net.

Trailing 9-8, Pleasant Valley scored 11 of the game’s next 13 points, including several powerful kills and eventually built its lead to 24-14. East fought back to score five points in a row before Caffrey sliced a soft angle shot into an open space to seal the victory.

“Eventually we put our best foot forward,” said Gesiskie, now in his 26th year as coach of the Bears coach

Gesiskie and Pleasant Valley will now seek to hold serve when they play Stroudsburg on Friday.

“If we can beat Stroudsburg, we can be undefeated in our division,” he said. “That’s always a goal of ours.”

STATS ... Frankunas led Pleasant Valley at the net with nine kills and three blocks. Crilley added eight kills. Thourot and Caffrey ran the offense, finishing with had 11 and 10 assists respectively. Senior Desi Beade led the defensive effort with 12 digs. Caffrey and Beade both had a pair of aces.

RECORDS ... Pleasant Valley is now 5-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the EPC. Pocono Mountain East falls to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

CLOSING IN ... The victory was the 487th of Gesiskie’s career. His milestone 500th victory could come this season.

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