Veteran Perkiomen Valley pushes past youthful Phoenixville

PHOENIXVILLE — Led by 6-foot-3 junior Cayla Veverka and 6-foot-2 junior Caitlin Corcoran, Perkiomen Valley’s girls volleyball team is tall across the board.

The Vikings know how to parlay that height advantage into prowess at the net, too. The experienced Vikings put it all on display during a 3-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference shutout of host Phoenixville Tuesday afternoon.

Veverka finished with eight kills and seven aces while Corcoran had six kills for Perk Valley (2-1, 3-2).

Set scores were: 25-7, 25-14 and 25-15.

Perkiomen Valley, which is in its seventh season under the guidance of coach Chang Han, set the tone by jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the opening set. The Vikings were also ahead 5-0 to start the second set. The third set was tied three times during the early going before the visitors pulled away.

“We’ve had two freshmen and two sophomores who came up and actually have been helping out,’ said Veverka. “They are working well and stepping in.’

Ellie Min and Halena Clauhs are the two ninth graders who have made an impact right away while being placed into the varsity lineup. Min had eight assists while sophomore Carli Monostra contributed 12 assists.

PV has also received a lot of solid play from their senior contingent of Sam Guarnaccia, Jen Maurer and Emily Holtz. Maurer had two kills and four assists while Guarnaccia finished with six kills.

“We have been working well as a team,’ said Veverka.

“We won two tournaments so far,’ said Corcoran. “We are building a strong program.’

“We’ve got some good height across the board,’ said Han, who is assisted by Chris Ho and Mia DeCicco. “That does create our opportunities. We have a lot of experienced juniors and seniors. We also have some good sophomores and brought up some freshmen. We have good leadership with Cayla, who is a third-year varsity player.’

Phoenixville (0-3, 0-4) is still in the infant stages of its program. The Phantoms also have a first-year head coach this year in Seth McNaughton. The Phantoms are led by returning junior starter Cecilia Bauer, junior Mackenzie Smith and senior Morgan Gildon. Phoenixville’s other starters Tuesday were junior Natalie Dependahl, senior Sophia Tedesco and senior Shavon Moskal. Senior Emma Dolan also played with the first group. Sophomores Angelina Tedesco and Tessa Lochetto saw a lot of time off the bench.

In the third set, Bauer scored on a slam to make it 4-4 before PV secured the ensuing three points to take the lead to stay.

“We are still building,’ said McNaughton. “We have a lot of girls who don’t play all year-round. They just try to go out and get better every day. They are having a lot of fun. They are looking to play more year-round. They have a lot of potential. It’s a matter of getting reps. It’s all about our effort. No one can control our effort. We just have to correct our mistakes that we have made in the past.’

McNaughton said Phoenixville has played well during certain stages of matches against the likes of Great Valley, Pope John Paul II and Methacton. It is a matter of pushing forward and learning how to play a complete match at a consistent, high level, he said.

“We have our points where we stay with them,’ said McNaughton. “We have to push them through and work on the game mentally. I love the future of them for next year and even later this year.’

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