MURRYSVILLE — DuBois girls’ volleyball team made their first trip to the PIAA Class 3A semifinals on Tuesday.
And even though the outcome wasn’t what the Lady Beavers and coach Jason Gustafson had hopes, the experience for the young squad was beneficial.
DuBois (10-4) dropped a 3-0 decision to District 7 (WPIAL) champion Franklin Regional by the scores of 25-19, 25-10 and 25-17.
The Lady Beavers, which hadn’t played a match since Oct. 27, didn’t want to use the layoff as an excuse.
“We just made too many mistakes,” senior Taylor Smith said. “I think we were in awe of them at the beginning, but we were prepared because the junior varsity gave is some tough competition.”
But Gustafson said that competition was like they experienced against Franklin Regional, which is making its first trip to the championship where it will face District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic. BECA defeated York Suburban, 3-1, in the other semifinal match.
Franklin Regional middle hitter Aly Kindelberger, a DePaul signee, dominated the front line with numerous spikes and blocks to lead the Panthers.
Two weeks ago, Franklin Regional won its first WPIAL title.
“That was a typical game for me,” Kindelberger said. “I thought we played great. There were a couple of mistakes, but I feel pretty confident going into the next game.”
Kindelberger had 10 kills and blocks during the first match. With the score tied 11-11 lead, Kindelberger went on a five-point run that saw the Panthers open up a 22-13 lead. Senior Renee Baldy added a couple spikes for the Panthers.
“I thought we played well defensively in the first game,” Gustafson said. “I’m not making any excuses; we made too many mistakes against a very good team. Kindelberger is a very good player, but it’s tough to neutralize her.”
The 6-foot-2 middle hitter finished with finished with 25 points off kills, dinks and blocks.
DuBois, which hadn’t played in three weeks because of different factors, one being the coronavirus of an opponent, hung in there during Game 1, but the Panthers put away the visitors quickly in Game 2, pulling away for an easy 25-10 win.
Kindelberger, Baldy and Ella Evans put down kills in the second game against the District 9 champion.
DuBois jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 3, but the WPIAL champions got two serving aces from Alexa Feorene, the coach’s daughter, to snag a 7-4 lead. DuBois went up 10-9 before the Panthers scored four-consecutive points to grab a 14-10 lead.
The gradually pulled away behind Kindelberger and Baldy kills and serving aces from Kamryn Marcus and Sydney Breitkreutz.
“We knew what we had to do coming into the match,” Gustafson said. “I felt we hung in there is Game 1, but at the end of the day we killed ourselves with unforced errors. All three games we had a stretch in the middle that we gave up too many points.”
Gustafson added, ‘it’s an unfortunately loss but a great learning opportunity to because we are very young and I’m happy about that. The kids got the opportunity to play in a game like this. You don’t get that opportunity often.”