PHOENIXVILLE >> The names and faces of most of the players are different on both teams, but both Perkiomen Valley and host Phoenixville still exhibited solid volleyball during their Pioneer Athletic Conference match Tuesday afternoon.
Perkiomen Valley withstood a gutsy effort from Phoenixville to come away with a 3-0 victory. Set scores were: 25-18, 25-14 and 25-6.
Sophomore Grace Herbein finished with 16 assists. Sophomore Sarah Straub ended up with eight kills. Hannah Rice totaled four kills and one ace. Junior Jess Oltman picked up three kills and had three aces.
Perkiomen Valley, under second-year head coach Drew Scheeler, is coming off a year where the Vikings finished second in District 1-AAA and earned a trip to the PIAA state tournament.
Perkiomen Valley has just three seniors this fall in Adrianna Lattanzi, Alexis Prettyman and Rice.
“We’re different,” said Scheeler. “Some of our starters are a little bit sick so it gave us a good chance to play younger players at this level.”
Phoenixville fields only two seniors in Tessa Lochetto and Emilie Ritter for coach Seth McNaughton.
For Phoenixville, first-year player Kayla Grammerstorf, a sophomore, finished with 12 blocks. Lochetto, the libero, piled up 18 digs.
“We have a new middle (Grammerstorf),” said McNaughton. “She never played volleyball before. She is a dancer. But she is picking it up with the movement. She had 12 blocks today, which is incredible.”
McNaughton said Grammerstorf is one of seven or eight players on the Phantoms’ roster who has never played the sport previously. He said the Phantoms have been getting good play and leadership from the likes of sophomore outside hitter Romina Broglia, Lochetto and junior Alexandra Poloway.
McNaughton praised the Vikes for their play in returning all hits back over the net, as compared to his team that is less consistent in that regard.
“The rest of the year we are not going to give away points,” he said. “They only had three runs and we gave it our all. We are working on our communication. We lost two four-year starters so they are working on teamwork.”
He was proud of Phoenixville for playing such a close first game against the Vikings.
“It shows what potential we have, but we have to play at that level consistently,” said McNaughton.
Scheeler said he was impressed with Phoenixville, too.
“Give Phoenixville credit,” said Scheeler. “They do a heckuva job defensively. They play hard. That is a credit to Seth and the job he is doing. He is a good coach and he has the program going in the right direction. That is good for the league.”