Berwick had momentum.
The Bulldogs dropped the first set to Tunkhannock, but Sarah Warner’s club quickly regrouped- grabbing a 20-15 lead in the next stanza.
That momentum quickly diminished.
Tunkhannock ripped off a 10-1 run on serves by Joao Oldoni and Paul Binner, and the Tigers rode Trejon Turner’s 15 kills to a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-21, and 25-16) of Berwick in the District 2 Class 2A boys volleyball quarterfinals Wednesday at Holy Redeemer.
The Tigers roll into Tuesday’s semis and will face No. 1 seed Holy Redeemer, a 3-0 winner over District 1’s Dock Mennonite. Redeemer beat Tunkhannock, 3-1, in the final week of Wyoming Valley Conference regular-season play.
“There were definitely some nerves coming into this one because you know that one loss could end your season,” Binner said. “But the postseason is a great time. The crowd was cheering and the team was yelling. It’s a great feeling. We knew Berwick was going to be tough, but we felt pretty confident coming in.”
Playing with a new setter, the fifth-seeded Bulldogs fell down 20-10 in the opening set and never found a rhythm.
“Any time you make any changes in volleyball, it makes a big difference,” Warner said. “The chemistry is different. The trust is different. It was a major hurdle and obstacle that we had to work with. I’ve been harping on serving tough and passing well. When we did that tonight, we held our own. When our passing fell apart, we struggled.”
That’s when Tunkhannock took over.
Two kills and a block by Turner, several big swings by Avery Billings and Andrew Slacktish and a set-clinching point by Jacob Keeler stole all the momentum.
“It’s all fun. I just tried to keep a clear mind and play the game,” Turner said. “There were a lot of emotions. This was so much fun. I’m excited for the chance to play against Holy Redeemer again.”
The Bulldogs took a 7-5 lead in the final set, but Tunkhannock used a 9-0 run on Billings’ serve to grab an eight-point advantage (17-9).
Turner finished with 15 kills, while Binner added 10 kills and 18 assists. Berwick’s Evans, in his final match, ended with 10 kills.
Tunkhannock will face host and top seed Holy Redeemer on Tuesday, May 2, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
That game was
played after this paper was published.