CLARKS SUMMIT – The first round of the District 1/2/11 Class 2A subregional boys volleyball tournament brought together two programs moving in opposite directions.
Abington Heights, the 2018 Lackawanna League champion, had slipped to the .500 mark two-thirds of the way through the regular season. Lake-Lehman, just two years removed from a stretch in which it won just once in four seasons, worked its way into the playoffs by moving above .500 this year.
Senior James McGrail and freshman Nate Steenback led the way as Abington Heights made sure Lake-Lehman’s progress stopped with the first round of the playoffs, turning back the visiting Black Knights in four sets Monday night.
McGrail had team-highs of 15 kills and six aces while Steenback added 14 service points and 20 assists in a 24-26, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 victory.
“We wanted to go a lot farther,” said Lake-Lehman coach Chris Kukosky, whose team doubled its win total from last season by improving from 4-8 to 8-4 in the Wyoming Valley Conference. “It just wasn’t in the cards tonight.
“We just didn’t execute. We stopped attacking. Our passing game was not on tonight.”
Abington Heights, which will play at second-seeded Lackawanna League champion Blue Ridge in Thursday’s quarterfinals, had something to do with that.
“I think what we did well was we were able to put them out of system,” Comets coach Jamie Spangler said. “We couldn’t really let them get comfortable. We know they really like to run their middles, so we got them out of system where they really couldn’t run their middles.”
Lake-Lehman disrupted Abington Heights at times as well, making McGrail work for his 15 kills with effective blocking, particularly on the outside.
“That has been a strength for the last three years, even when the boys were all sophomores,” Kukosky said. “Blocking was one of four strong points.”
Jon Raspen had four blocks while Justin Timonte and Sean Sabaluski had two each.
Matt Pacyna had a match-high 25 assists for Abington Heights. Kyle Kronick had 12 assists. Will Brown had 11 points and nine kills.
Sean Sabaluski had seven kills for Lake-Lehman. Raspen had 22 digs. Jay Martin had 16 service points.
Lake-Lehman played from behind most of the match. The team’s first two-point lead was on the winning point of the first set, completing a comeback from a 12-8 deficit. The biggest lead in had in any set was 11-7 in the fourth.
Lake-Lehman, the 10th seed, finished its season 8-7, including 0-3 against Lackawanna League teams.
Seventh-seeded Abington Heights improved to 9-5 overall.
Berwick 3, Wyoming Valley West 0
Berwick opened play in the District 1/2/11 Class 2A subregional tournament with a 25-13, 25-13, 25-10 victory over Wyoming Valley West.
Santiago Segura had 35 assists, three aces and a block for Berwick. Zach Evans had 20 kills, 11 digs and a block. Misael Hernandez had 24 service points and six digs. Luis Francis had six kills and a block. Ryan Kishbach had two aces and seven digs.
Berwick will face Tunkhannock in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Holy Redeemer High School. Redeemer, which drew a first-round bye, will play Dock Mennonite 30 minutes after the Berwick-Tunkhannock match.
Dock Mennonite 3, Crestwood 0
The Comets ended their season with a loss in the first round of the D1/2/11 Class 2A subregional tournament.
Mennonite won by scores of 25-14, 25-19, 25-10. The Pioneers play at top-seeded Holy Redeemer on Wednesday. The match will begin 30 minutes after the quarterfinal match between Berwick and Tunkhannock.
Crestwood was led by Adam Williams (10 assist, 4 service points), Connor Novatnak (4 service points, 3 kills) and Zy’aere Gridine (5 blocks, 3 kills).
Western Wayne 3, Hazleton Area 2
Western Wayne edged Hazleton Area in a non-conference match 26-24, 15-25, 26-24, 14-25, 15-13.
Chris Wolk had nine kills, nine blocks and 10 digs for Hazleton Area. Kevin Blanco had nine kills and a block. Alec Plesh recorded 21 assists and nine points. Cristian Posado had 15 points, nine digs and four blocks.
Delaware Valley 20, Lakeland 1
Shane Roche and Alex Husejnovic scored four goals each for Delaware Valley, which will be seeded second in the upcoming D2/11 Class 3A playoffs. Josh Balcarcel added three scores.
Chris Winkler had Lakeland’s only goal.
Baseball, softball washed out
The GAR at Meyers baseball game — the final time the schools will ever play in any sport — was among several sporting events postponed Monday due to rain.
GAR at Meyers will be played Wednesday. Other baseball games moved to Wednesday were Hanover Area at Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Seminary at Northwest. Also, Wyoming Area will host Lakeland in a non-conference game that was postponed earlier in the season.
Holy Redeemer at MMI Prep and Crestwood at Scranton were moved to Thursday.
In softball, GAR at Wyoming Seminary, Hanover Area at Northwest and Meyers at Holy Redeemer will be Tuesday. Lake-Lehman at MMI Prep and Hazleton Area at Pittston Area are now Thursday.
All games start at 4:15 p.m. except Hazleton Area at Pittston Area softball, which will start at 4:45 p.m.
King’s runners finish season
King’s Mitchell Forgash and Sarah Ross competed one last time this season in cold and wet conditions at the Swat Final Qualifier Meet at Swarthmore College.
Forgash won his heats in the 400 and 800 meters. The Wyoming Valley West grad won the second of six 400-meter heats with a time of 50.43 seconds to finish seventh overall in the field of 28.
Ross ran the second-fastest 400 meters of her career to finish 28th overall out of 37 runners with a time of 1:03.00 in the fourth of five heats.
Misericordia in NCAA Regionals
Misericordia will travel to Christopher Newport University for the NCAA Regionals in a best-of-5 series, opening on Friday in Newport News, Va.
The series will open with a doubleheader on Friday with game three scheduled for Saturday. If necessary, games four and five will be on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. All start times are scheduled for noon with the second game of the doubleheaders starting 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
The Cougars (35-7) will be making their ninth straight tournament appearance after capturing the MAC Freedom Championship. Last season, Misericordia reached the Division III World Series, posting a 1-2 record in Appleton, Wisconsin.
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