by Jake DeLuca
The Armstrong River Hawks varsity volleyball team found themselves undefeated in the early season with a 3-0 record before facing the Fox Chapel Foxes on Thursday.
The River Hawks have competed well in the WPIAL 5A division, winning their previous three matches which were all league matches.
Against Fox Chapel, the River Hawks were able to take win 3-0 after wins of 25-18, 25-23, and 25-15.
The first two sets proved to be the most challenging for Armstrong, as the Foxes just wouldn’t give in. The River Hawks found themselves up 10-3 before allowing Fox Chapel to come back and make it 17-14. That is when Head Coach Andrea Lasher took a timeout to regroup her team. After the break the River Hawks would come out to go on a 8-1 run to close out the set 25-18.
The second set was one for the ages. Armstrong found themselves down early 8-5 after taking some questionable calls, forcing Coach Lasher to take a timeout to regroup her girls.
The timeout paid dividends immediately, as the River Hawks were able to go on a 7-1 run making the score 12-9. That’s when the Foxes needed a timeout themselves.
After the Foxes timeout, Fox Chapel would go on a run of their own to take the lead at 20-16.
The lead would go back and forth changing hands, until Armstrong pushed their way back to tie the game 23-23 before coming up clutch and scoring the next two points to win the set 25-23.
River Hawks coach Andrea Lasher was proud of how her team never gave up and battled back.
“I am very proud of them for that(not giving up). To be down like that and then coming back strong and getting themselves back into the game says a lot about them, and I think it showed them, too, that we can do this; if we’re down we can come back strong. That’s definitely a positive for a team to have.”
The third set was all River Hawks as the demoralized Fox Chapel team knew there was no coming back after that last set.
By the end of the three sets Loryn Bowser had 11 kills, Hannah Bowman had 9 kills, and Timberly Cressman had 8 kills. Abbey DiGregio set up her teammates well, finishing the match with 34 assists – the rest of the team had 4 assists.
Next on the River Hawks Schedule is a tournament in Upper St. Claire. Coach Lasher is excited to see what the tournament has in store for her team.
“I am very excited to see the teams that we don’t get to see in our area. I think this (tournament) will show us where we stand against the bigger teams that have been known to have great competitive teams. I’m hoping we see great competitiveness there, and hopefully we see where we stand and this will let us know what we need to work on.”