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GRATERFORD - Perkiomen Valley has a very good, experienced girls volleyball team. Phoenixville, on the other hand, is in its first year of competition as the fifth Pioneer Athletic Conference team to have the fall sport.
The two sides met Thursday afternoon on Perkiomen Valley’s floor, and the host Vikings came away with a 3-0 non-league victory over Phoenixville, winning b y scores of 25-13, 25-9 and 25-18.
Perkiomen Valley improved to 4-1 in 2012 under coaches Chang Han, Chris Ho and Mia DeCicco. Phoenixvile is coached by Julie Cordingley and Laura Howard. The Phantoms won their first two matches against Antietam and Penn Wood before bowing to the Vikings.
Cayla Veverka, a 6-foot, 2-inch freshman, paced the Vikings with 11 kills while junior Devin Degenshein served three aces, and senior captain Tori Lawson made three kills in five attempts to lead the effort.
Phoenixville is keyed by the Bauer sisters, Lucy and Cecilia. Lucy is a junior and Cecilia is just a freshman.The Phantoms have just two senior players in Chelsea Gadecki and Danielle Vallino.
“We have a very good team this year,” said Han, who is in his sixth year of coaching the Vikes. “We have a tough one Monday against PJP (Pope John Paul II), which will really ell us where we’re at.”
Han talked about Veverka.
“She is our big gun right now,” said Han. “It is nice to have her. Our seniors are coming along great. It is nice to have them.”
The rest of the PV starting lineup includes seniors Lawson, Danielle Dolenti and Caroline Fehr plus junior Kristin Dolenti and freshman Amilia Leyes.
The Vikings have 24 players on their roster with 13 of those on varsity. Phoenixville also has a nice turnout of 27 players for a first-year program at a small school.
“We need one more team to form an official PAC,” said Han. “They (Phantoms) are number five. Hopefully, we will get one more.”
In the opening game, Perkiomen Valley stretched an 8-6 lead to 14-6 before Phoenixville called a timeout. The Vikes held a 21-11 advantage on a Lawson kill and won the last two points to seal the first-game verdict.
PV moved out to a 12-5 lead in the second game before the Phantoms called a timeout. Again, the Vikes took the final two points to claim the game.
The Phantoms played much better in the third game with Han trying different people at different positions. Phoenixville had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 and the game was even at 9-9 with their fifth straight point, including a Cecilia Bauer ace. Bauer served again as the Phantoms went in front 10-9. It was tied again at 10 before PV took a 12-10 edge.
The hosts scored a five-point run to take a 17-11 lead. The Phantoms drew even again at 17 on a serve by Lucy Bauer and a kill by junior Ne’Cole Casalena.
PV Pgrabbed the final four points to earn the game and sweep the meet against the up and coming, enthusiastic Phantoms.
“We want to come in against teams like this and have them be surprised at how we play as well as we do,” said Cordingley. “We’re grateful to PV. They are glad to have us in the league. That is nice and encouraging.
“In the beginning of the summer we had just five girls. But when preseason came around, they kept coming out. The energuy really picked up in the third game.”
“We didn’t know if we would have enough girls,” said Howard. “But the word got out.”
“This year is resilient,” said Cordingley. “We go for every ball and hang right in there.”
Phoenixville’s other top players are sophomore Morgan Gildon, sophomore Caylin Jenkins, freshman Mackenzie Smith, sopohomore Adryana Gates and sophomore Sophia Tedesco.
The Phantom roster includes two seniors, nine juniors, 10 sophomores and seven freshmen.
Phoenixville visits Spring-Ford Monday and then hosts Norristown Tuesday afternoon at the new Phoenixville Area Middle School gymnasium in the Phantoms’ first home match of the year.