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D2 VOLLEYBALL: Mountain View earns rematch with Holy Redeemer in semifinals; Blue Ridge hosts doubleheader and Dallas

Mountain View has come a long way since an early-season loss to Crestwood.

In their second match, the Eagles boys volleyball team lost, 3-0. When the two teams faced each other last Thursday in the District 2 Class 2A quarterfinals, Mountain View got off to a fast start, found itself losing momentum, then regained its composure on the way to a 3-2 win over the Comets.

On Tuesday, the third-seeded Eagles (14-5) must face another daunting task when they play second-seeded Holy Redeemer (15-2) in the first game of a doubleheader at 5 p.m. at Blue Ridge High School. No. 4 Dallas (13-5) plays the host, top-seeded, and defending champion Raiders (17-1) in the second game.

The winners advance to Thursday’s championship game at Scranton High School and also punch their tickets to the PIAA Championship Tournament because District 2 receives two berths.

“From the beginning of the season, I feel like we all improved,” Mountain View senior Isaac Drake said. “Around mid-season, we had a lot of improvements with power hitting. We played with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.”

In fairness to Mountain View, when it faced Crestwood the first time, Drake did not play because of an injury. He leads the team, is averaging double-digits in kills, and is one of the top blockers in the Lackawanna League.

After losing back-to-back games to Wilkes-Barre Area and Abington Heights, two teams that are in the District 2 Class 3A semifinals, the Eagles went on to win eight of their last 10 regular-season games. Their losses came against Blue Ridge and Holy Redeemer.

“The key to our success this year was not getting set back by our losses,” Drake said. “We had good communication on and off the court. Our match with Crestwood was great. Crestwood is a very tough opponent. In the first two sets, we came out swinging, but maybe we got too confident and lost two sets in a row. What pulled us through was taking a breather, assessing the situation, and getting back to having good communication.”

Drake had 24 kills and 10 blocks, Ryan Supancik had 36 assists, eight blocks and six kills, and Joey Heller had eight kills for the Eagles.

They earned another rematch in the semifinals.

In the regular-season game, Holy Redeemer defeated the Eagles, 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-14). Jack Wasiakowski had 36 assists and 12 points, Joshua Rocha had 18 kills and Johnnathan Rocha had 14 kills for the Royals.

Holy Redeemer reached the semifinals with a 3-0 win over West Scranton and is on a five-game winning streak.

“I know that I need to work on my timing with blocks,” Drake said. “Holy Redeemer has some great athletes. I don’t think that we played terrible in that match. We have to do our best.”

In the second semifinal, No. 4 Dallas takes on Blue Ridge.

Dallas has won four straight and avenged a loss to Berwick in the quarterfinals. Carter Brunn leads Dallas with 254 kills and 122 digs, and Cameron Faux has 185 kills and 174 digs. Chris Miller has 134 digs and 125 service points for the Mountaineers.

Blue Ridge’s Connor Cranage led the Raiders to a 3-0 win over Forest City in the quarterfinals. A Class 2A all-state player last season, he has 265 kills this season. Aiden Glasgow has 135 digs, and Carson Gallagher has 466 assists this season.

Blue Ridge has won three straight matches against Dallas by 3-0 scores.

Class 3A

On Monday, Delaware Valley will host a semifinal doubleheader in the Class 3A tournament.

Third-seeded Hazleton Area plays No. 2 Wilkes-Barre Area in the first semifinal game at 5 p.m.

Abington Heights, the No. 4 seed, plays top-seeded and defending champion Delaware Valley in the second game.

Wilkes-Barre Area swept Hazleton Area in the regular-season matchup in the WVC, and Delaware Valley did not face Abington Heights in the regular season.

Chris U’Glay, a 6-foot-7 hitter who has 261 kills, 15 blocks, 88 digs, and 119 service points, leads the Warriors.

Aidan Papula has 361 assists, Tommy Parker has 156 service points and 84 kills, and Giono Gualandi has 85 kills for the Warriors.

Shawn Theodore had 14 kills and seven digs, Dane Huggler had 22 assists, and Ryan Horutz had 20 assists for Abington Heights in its 3-1 win over Scranton in the quarterfinals.

DISTRICT 2 CHAMPIONSHIPS CLASS 2A Quarterfinals

Mountain View 3, Crestwood 2

Holy Redeemer 3, West Scranton 0

Dallas 3, Berwick 1

Blue Ridge 3, Forest City 0

Tuesday’s semifinals at Blue Ridge High School

3-Mountain View (14-5) vs. 2-Holy Redeemer (15-2), 5 p.m.

4-Dallas (13-5) vs. 1-Blue Ridge (17-1), 30 minutes after first match

Final, May 23

Semifinal winners at Scranton High School, 30 minutes after Class 3A final

CLASS 3A Quarterfinals

Hazleton Area 3, Wyoming Valley West 0

Abington Heights 3, Scranton 1

Monday’s semifinals at Delaware Valley High School

3-Hazleton Area (9-4) vs. 2-Wilkes-Barre Area (15-3), 5 p.m.

4-Abington Heights (10-6) vs. 1-Delaware Valley (12-3), 30 minutes after first match

Final, May 23

Semifinal winners at Scranton High School, 5 p.m.