McCann sisters power Avon Grove

LONDON GROVE — Team chemistry is key to sustaining a winning program. Anytime you have three sisters on the roster who all play at a high level, the team chemistry comes a little easier. That’s exactly the case for the Avon Grove volleyball team, which was able to snap a four-game losing streak behind masterful performances from Sarah and Emily McCann.

Sarah led the way with eight kills, Emily was right behind her with seven of her own as they teamed up to propel Avon Grove over West Chester East in straight sets, 25,14, 25-21, 25-22, in the Ches-Mont League National Division matchup Thursday, to improve to 6-6 on the season.

Sarah, who is a senior, is one of the co-captains team along with twin sisters Jane and Jacklyn Rind. Jane, however, sustained a concussion a few matches ago, which allowed Emily McCann to step into the starting lineup.

Emily, who as a sophomore, is the youngest of the McCann’s, stepped in admiringly with timely hits, digs, and was a vocal presence out on the court.

“It’s so nice because since I am still a young player, it’s still nerve racking getting out on the court,’ Emily McCann said. “But having my older sister out there supporting me and high-fiving me and stuff, its reassuring and it relaxes me.’

“It’s great because I know that I can trust her,’ Sarah McCann added. “I play with her all year round, even outside of the Avon Grove season, so I know what she’s going to do and what she’s capable of. We really work well together with that.’

Avon Grove jumped all over East from the start in the opening set. There were a good amount of long rallies, but East could not finish the point and had many unforced errors. The Red Devils took the first set, 25-14, and seemed to be really upbeat on the sideline as the two teams traded sides.

The second set was a see-saw battle for most of the set. The Vikings’ Taylor Crawford had five digs in the set alone. and 10 for the match.

Avon Grove broke a 15-15 tie with a 7-0 run for a 22-15 lead, before East countered with a 5-0 run of their own. But, Avon Grove hold on to take the set, 25-21. The McCann’s traded kills on back-to-back possessions to put the set away.

The third set was much of the same as the second set — lots of long rallies and competitive points. East kept having a tendency to hit the ball long, however, which Avon Grove took advantage of. Alison Schultz was setting up the McCann’s with regularity, she had 11 assists in the match. Co-captain Jacklyn Rind also turned in a good performance with 11 digs. Avon Grove took the third set and the match, 25-22.

“We really needed this win coming off of four straight losses,’ Avon Grove head coach Ashley Focht said. “It’s really good for them to get back into a winning feel. They played really well, especially for us being down two of our stronger players ,but we have a lot of work left to do as we play two really tough teams this weekend.’

Leah Ritchey added 14 digs and an ace for the Vikings, who fall to 4-9, while Anna Brennan had three kills, four digs and an ace.

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