H.S. volleyball: Kirsten Durling, Patriots knock out Dallas to start the week

By Tom Fox - For Sunday Dispatch | September 16th, 2016 11:43 am

YATESVILLE —Pittston Area’s Kirsten Durling wears many different hats. The Pittston Area senior setter does a nice job of getting her teammates involved and she’s not afraid to take that timely one-over.

Durling did a little bit of everything Monday night. She had a match-high 10 kills, assisted on 17 other spikes and stepped up when her team needed her the most in a 3-0 victory over Dallas in girls’ volleyball action.

Set scores were 25-16, 25-19 and 25-20. Both teams are now 2-2 in the Wyoming Valley Conference.

“I told Kirsten from the start that she was going to be our setter, and she was going to need to be vocal at times to keep everything together,” Pittston Area head coach Dani McAndrew said. “She really stepped up, and has done a great job for us. We just want everyone to be positive, and Kirsten always has a smile on her face.”

Durling, the only senior on Pittston Area’s squad, wears the leadership hat well.

She constantly encouraged younger teammates when shots went into the net or sailed out of bounds. She was the first one to slap someone on the back after a point-clinching spike. But when the match got tight, Durling stepped up.

No bigger was the spot than the third set. Dallas’ Megan Sebastianelli ripped off six straight points early to give the Mountaineers its first lead of the match at 7-1.

But it was a timely one-over by Durling that stopped the Dallas run and sparked the Patriots. With Elizabeth Charney firing darts from the back row and Portia Weidlich dropping spikes on the Mountaineer defense, Pittston Area used a 10-1 run to grab a 13-9 lead; one the Patriots wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the match.

“I just had to be a leader, but this was a total team effort. Everyone has to do their job to get the victory,” Durling said. “Basically, I just want to keep up everyone’s confidence.”

The Patriots jumped out to a 3-0 lead to open the match, thanks to two aces from Emily O’Brien, and never trailed. Durling had four kills and eight assists alone in the first, and Weidlich combined with Scarlet Alexander for seven spikes in a 23-17 first-set victory. Weidlich finished with 10 kills.

Dallas fought back in the second.

Down six points, the Mountaineers rallied behind the play of sophomore middle Gianna Musto, who recorded five of her team-high seven kills in the set. Teammate Caitlyn Pike finished with 11 assists.

Dallas used 6-1 run to trim the deficit back to 18-17, but that’s the closest it got as Pittston closed on a 5-2 run.

Recek’s group shook off that massive 10-0 run in the third set to tie it at 19-19, but again, it was Durling. A cross-court spike toward the back corner gave Pittston a 20-19 lead, and the Patriots scored the final four points – all with Charney behind the service line. Charney, a junior, had a match-high 13 points.

Nanticoke 3,

Wyoming Area 0

Wyoming Area’s Liv Astolfi led Wyoming Area with 11 digs and four aces in a loss to Nanticoke on Monday. The game scores were 25-11, 28-26, 25-3.

Wyoming Valley West 3,

Pittston Area 1

Grace Giza (13 kills, three blocks, nine service points, two aces) helped the Spartans earn a 25-22, 9-25, 25-22, 25-20 win. The Spartans also got production from Audi Welles (eight kills, 11 service points, three aces), Tessa johns (26 assists) and Gabby Labar (seven service points, three aces).

Kirsten Durling (16 assists, eight kills, four blocks, two aces), Portia Weidlich (eight service points, six kills), Liz Charney (five service points, six kills) and Emily O’Brien (16 service points, six aces, one kill) topped the Patriots.

Tunkhannock 3,

Wyoming Area 1

The Tigers polished off a 25-18, 25-10, 24-26, 25-10 win over the Warriors with Mikayla Mills (seven kills), Jessica Dymond (three kills, five aces, five service points) and Annalise VerBeek (seven assists) out in front.

Brandi Sorokin had three kills and eight service points for the Warriors.

Pittston Area’s Kirsten Durling goes for a shot against Dallas on Monday.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_TTL091316Volleyball2-3.jpgPittston Area’s Kirsten Durling goes for a shot against Dallas on Monday. Aimee Dilger | Sunday Dispatch
Pittston Area’s Ryanna Power hits the ball over Dallas defenders.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_TTL091316Volleyball3-3.jpgPittston Area’s Ryanna Power hits the ball over Dallas defenders. Aimee Dilger | Sunday Dispatch
Pittston Area’s Elizabeth Charney goes for a shot against Dallas on Monday.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_TTL091316Volleyball1-3.jpgPittston Area’s Elizabeth Charney goes for a shot against Dallas on Monday. Aimee Dilger | Sunday Dispatch
Durling becoming a force for PA

By Tom Fox

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or email sd@s24530.p831.sites.pressdns.com.