Perkiomen Val­ley drops bat­tle of Vik­ings in PAC Semis

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Ed Mor­lock emor­lock@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @emor09 on Twit­ter

ROY­ERS­FORD >> Up­per Merion stayed per­fect this sea­son with a four-set win over Perk Val­ley, 2125, 25-23, 25-20, 25-13, in the Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nals Tues­day night at Spring­Ford.

With the win, top-seeded Up­per Merion sets up a re­match of last year’s ti­tle game with Pope John Paul. The ri­vals will meet Thurs­day at 7 p.m. back at Spring­Ford.

“We’re def­i­nitely look­ing for­ward to com­ing back and try­ing to dom­i­nate,” Up­per Merion se­nior Dan­nielle Chung said. “We all know we can play a lot bet­ter than we did last year. I think we’ve re­ally grown as a team this year be­cause we’ve all grown up a lit­tle bit to­gether.”

No. 4 Perk Val­ley got off to a great start, build­ing a 9-2 lead early on in the first game. They main­tained a com­fort­able ad­van­tage un­til Up­per Merion went on a 6-2 run to cut their deficit to two, 15-13. Up­per Merion trimmed the mar­gin to two again, 20-18, but that’s as close as they’d get be­fore los­ing, 25-21.

“We were kind of just go­ing through the mo­tions,” Chung said. “We were like, ‘Hey we ac­tu­ally need to start play­ing now,’ be­cause we tend to re­lax a lit­tle bit in the first set, which is not great. We have to get bet­ter at start­ing off in the first set. It doesn’t re­ally feel great, but we come back most of the time.”

The sec­ond game was tight through­out. Up­per Merion’s big­gest lead was four, 5-1, and Perk Val­ley’s was two, 19-17. Af­ter a cou­ple ref­eree con­fer­ences, Perk Val­ley held a 21-20 ad­van­tage. Up­per Merion won five of the next seven points to take the game, 2523, and tie the match, 1-1.

The third game was an­other close one. Up­per Merion jumped out to early leads at 6-1 and 159, but Perk Val­ley rat­tled off six straight to take a 16-15 lead. Up­per Merion scored four straight points to close out the match, 25-20.

Up­per Merion made a state­ment in the fourth and fi­nal game. With the score tied at two, Up­per Merion sand­wiched two 5-0 runs around one Perk Val­ley point to take a 12-3 lead. They main­tained a size­able ad­van­tage, peak­ing at 24-9 af­ter six straight points with Kate­lyn O’Brien serv­ing. Af­ter four straight points, Up­per Merion fin­ished game and match, 2513.

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