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Kids, Zephs renew volleyball rivalry

It had been almost two full years since the Northampton and Whitehall girls volleyball teams had faced one another in an EPC contest. The rivalry was renewed last Thursday in Pete Schneider Gymnasium as the Konkrete Kids came out on top 25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 25-16. The win moved Northampton to 7-4 on the season while the Zephyrs fell to 3-7.

In the first set, Northampton expanded on an early 11-10 lead to go up 23-17 before a late Zephyr run closed the gap to 23-21. Molly Zweifel got the kill for the K-Kids to end the run.

In the second set, the K-Kids got out to a 4-0 advantage and maintained a 5-6 point gap throughout most of the set.

The third set saw Northampton go up 5-0 prompting a timeout by Whitehall coach Victoria Bobyak. The Zephyrs went on to win 9 of the next 12 points to take their first lead in the match. They built the lead to 24-19 before a late Northampton run made the score 24-23. The set ended on a kill by Alondra Ayala.

The fourth set was anticlimactic as the Kids jumped out to a 10-5 lead and never looked back.

While Northampton won the match, Whitehall setter Alexa Crum displayed her versatility by recording a triple-double: 10 kills, 19 assists, and 17 digs. She also led the Zephyrs in all three categories. For those who do not follow volleyball, this is something that almost never happens because the roles on the team generally cause a player to only put up big numbers in one category. There is no term defined for such an accomplishment so henceforth it should be called a Crum, at least at Whitehall.

Bobyak praised her setter, “She’s smart. She knows where the spots are. She knows how to spread the ball out, so when Northampton wasn’t expecting it, she took the opportunities.”

Also for the Zephs, Bailey Seibert had 7 kills and 7 digs. Nadia Tarsi and Jess Spanitz both had 9 digs. Hailey Bartosh had 7 kills.

The statistical leaders for the K-Kids were: Payton Reuber with 8 kills and 3 blocks, Angela Fisher with 4 kills and 4 aces, Naomi Nebiyou with 7 kills and 7 digs, and Molly Hughes with 27 assists, 11 digs, and 5 kills.

Northampton head coach Mike Holihan commented, “I’m happy with the win. And we got a win for the Cement Belt. I brought it out today for the girls to see to give them motivation. We’re just trying to move forward each match and find the little things that work.”

The teams will play each other again on Oct. 14 at Whitehall in both teams’ regular season finale.