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Marian volleyball slips past Tamaqua

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    Marian’s Macie Mazalusky (16) and Alivia Karchner try to block the shot of Tamaqua’s Caroline Balogach. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published September 12. 2018 02:58PM

There is no magic wand that can be waved to cure what is ailing Marian’s high-powered volleyball program.

Even the doctor knows the only way things are going to get better is aging.

It has taken almost until mid-September for the Fillies to enter the win column. Yes, that’s late for a program that gets its warm-ups out of the way early.

The Fillies are not the team of old, though they did claim a 3-1 victory over Tamaqua Tuesday evening. Things just aren’t clicking yet.

“We have four sophomores on the court, (and) two juniors,” said Dr. John Fallabel. The highly- successful coach, who has turned out champions the way the old Boston Celtics did back in the day, knows the reality.

“Yeah,” he said about being frustrated with a young group, which also has two freshmen earning playing time. “We really don’t know what we’re doing at times.”

And that’s attributed to the youth. Fallabel never makes excuses, he isn’t languishing in failures, he’s just trying to bring some life back to a team that has moved up to Division I of the Schuylkill Girls Volleyball League.

If there was ever a time for Tamaqua to get a victory, it was last evening. The Blue Raiders shot down the Fillies in the opening set 25-17, getting stellar play from Emily Amershek, Caroline Balogach, KayDee Romig and Madison Baddick.

“Our problem was we were just too happy to win that first set,” said Tamaqua coach Emilie Baker “And that isn’t going to make you a good team. I mean you just can’t be happy with a one-set win over a Marian team.”

There were plenty of chances for Tamaqua to knock the Fillies for a loop. It trailed by five points (16-11), and then cut the deficit to 16-14, but Marian just kept digging deeper. The Fillies took command 20-16, and then polished off the second set 25-17, riding a pair of aces off the hand of sophomore Jamison Wheeler.

It seemed to ignite Marian somewhat as it carried over to the third set and produced a 20-8 lead. The Fillies (1-1; 1-1) never looked back and chalked up a 25-14 victory.

The fourth set, without a doubt, could have been had by the Raiders. They tied the game at 18-18, and surged in front 20-18, getting a big ace from Baddick.

Marian, however, started to gather a head of steam when Tamaqua had a return error. With sophomore Rebecca Dzuranin in serve, her teammates never let the Raiders crawl back into the final set as the Fillies gained the victory, 25-22.

Despite the win, Fallabel isn’t so sure where things stand. There are a number of unanswered questions that need to get addressed.

“We will find out how good we are,” deadpanned the Marian coach referring to the next game at Pottsville.

DIGS, ACES, AND MORE … Veteran Marian sophomore Alivia Karchner led her team in kills with 12, Antonia Zeleniak posted 13 digs and Macie Mazlausky recorded 12 digs. Tamaqua was led by Amershek with eight kills, while Ella McLaughlin finished with 27 digs.

GETTING TWO … Marian won the JV contest 2-0.

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