The Trojanettes ripped off seven straight points in the fourth set to create separation from Tunkhannock, as Nanticoke Area won its third straight District 2 Class 3A championship with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25 and 25-13) victory at Wilkes University on Wednesday.
Nanticoke Area will play the District 3 champion in the first round of the PIAA tournament.
The Tigers, despite trailing, 2-0, in the match and 9-2 in the third set, found a way to rally. A big run on Megan Straley’s serve and three kills by Molly Goodwin erased the deficit as Tunkhannock scored three of the final four points to stun Nanticoke, 25-23, and extend the match.
“You always hope to accomplish a lot, and we had the talent and skill to get it done. This was quite the unit, and they did an awesome job,” Tunkhannock head coach Karen Passarelli said of her first year as head coach.
“We kept telling the team that we had to believe,” said Pasarelli. “I thought we had it back. But Nanticoke plays some great defense. We fought hard, and I’m very proud of them. We will be back next year.”
Tunkhannock used a 6-0 run on Goodwin’s serve in the first set to erase a six-point deficit and grab a 17-16 lead. The Trojanettes had an answer, though, as spikes by Lewis and Vnuk sparked the team to a 25-23 victory.
“There were so many feelings, it was unbelievable. About three quarters of the gym (at Wilkes) was filed with our Tigers fans. It was a great motivator and really helped the girls get fired up,” said the coach
It was another battle in the second set, but Nanticoke strung together a 13-2 run to close it out, 25-18.
Tunkhannock’s Goodwin, Jena Simmons and Dana Macko combined for 23 of the team’s 27 kills.
“Everyone was focused on our goal this season, there wasn’t any drama. The girls were always together and realized that you can have fun while you win,” said Passarelli.
She added, “We will lose seven seniors, all of whom were in and out of the starting rotations. We have a great program, our seventh and eighth grade girls are coming up and have a solid skill set. There are only two juniors returning, but our team will have an awesome core of sophomores returning.
A team is only as good as what is on its bench. We will be fine.”