Methacton ready for an­other dis­trict run

War­riors claim 3-set PAC win over Nor­ris­town

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By Ed Mor­lock emor­lock@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @emor09 on Twit­ter

WORCES­TER » Last year Methacton made the Dis­trict 1 playoffs as the No. 21 seed and upset the No. 12 seed to reach the sec­ond round.

A lot of play­ers from that team are back this year and look­ing to go even fur­ther.

“There was a stretch where we weren’t in the playoffs or were one-and-done in the playoffs,” Methacton coach Shane Manser said. “Last year we were the low­est seed to ad­vance ... We were able to go into the 12 seed on the road and win to get that con­fi­dence level. Playoffs is a whole dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere. To get that un­der your belt, to get that ex­pe­ri­ence and be suc­cess­ful is huge.”

The War­riors en­tered this week ranked No. 18 in the lat­est un­of­fi­cial Dis­trict 1-4A power rank­ings.

“The fu­ture looks good,” se­nior An­drea Cas­taneda said. “Last year we had a re­ally big upset in the first round of dis­tricts. We’ll def­i­nitely do it again and we’re ex­cited to go. We have a re­ally strong team this year and I think we’ll go far.”

Tues­day, they helped their cause with a dom­i­nant 3-0 Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence win over Nor­ris­town, 25-14, 25-9, 25-10.

Se­nior Maggie Welsh and

Cas­taneda led Methacton with seven kills each and se­nior Fran Mbon­glou had four kills. Se­nior Ni­cole Cooper had 12 digs, ju­nior Carli Ginther eight and Cas­taneda seven. Ju­nior Emma Eglin­ton had 28 as­sists and Ginther had five aces.

The top 24 teams in the dis­trict qual­ify for the playoffs, so Methacton should have its post­sea­son berth se­cured, but the team wants more. The top 16 teams earn a home play­off game.

“That’s what our short­term goal would be,” Manser said of get­ting a home game. “A home game would be beau­ti­ful. Then try to beat what­ever team (is next). If we’re right around 15 to 18, your sec­ond round would be (against No.) 1 or 2.”

Along with ex­pe­ri­ence from last year’s dis­trict run, the War­riors can take a lot from play­ing in the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence. Up­per Me­rion is the No. 1 ranked team in the 4A clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Perk Val­ley is No. 5 and Spring-Ford No. 11. In Class 3A, Pope John Paul II is No. 3.

“There’s re­ally good com­pe­ti­tion in the PAC10,” Cas­taneda said. “It’s def­i­nitely got­ten bet­ter. PV, Pope John Paul, Up­per Me­rion are all at the top of the dis­trict. We get re­ally good prac­tice play­ing with them.”

Build­ing for the fu­ture

Con­nie Ru­dolph took over the Nor­ris­town girls vol­ley­ball team late last sea­son and is now fin­ish­ing up her first full year. The wins might not be show­ing yet, as the team is 4-13, but Ru­dolph is putting things in place to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful pro­gram mov­ing for­ward.

“The W’s aren’t com­ing yet, but we’re re­build­ing,” Ru­dolph said. “That’s what I’m look­ing for­ward to. They’re lov­ing the game. They’re learn­ing it the right way. They come to prac­tice ev­ery day to try to get bet­ter.

“I haven’t had a chance to get to the mid­dle schools to start my feeder pro­gram, so what I did this sum­mer was I would do work­outs. They were lift­ing. They were do­ing some things they had never done be­fore.”

The Ea­gles showed their competitiveness and their youth in the loss against Methacton. They split the fi­nal eight points of the first set and took five out of nine points dur­ing a stretch in the sec­ond set. Con­versely, fell be­hind 10-3 in the first, 18-5 in the sec­ond and lost ten straight points from the end of the sec­ond to the be­gin­ning of the third.

“That’s been our prob­lem all year,” Ru­dolph said. “One mis­take — it’s not just one. It snow­balls five-to-seven (points) and we’ll play eight great points again, then we’ll snow­ball again ... If we could stop those runs, we’d be win­ning a lot more or at least be in the 20s more.” Methacton 3, Nor­ris­town 0

Nor­ris­town 14 9 10—0 Methacton 25 25 25—3

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Methacton’s An­drea Cas­taneda spikes as Nor­ris­town’s Lor­raine Boggs de­fends dur­ing their match Wednesday.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Nor­ris­town’s Al­li­son Perry digs out a serve dur­ing the Ea­gles’ match against Methacton Wednesday.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Nor­ris­town’s Tovyan­nah Wright goes up to block as Methacton’s Syd­ney Zerbe spikes dur­ing their match Wednesday.

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