WILKES-BARRE — Meyers took its best shot to knock out the 11-time defending district champ.

In the end, Holy Redeemer showed why it’s one of the best Class 2A girls volleyball teams in the state of Pennsylvania.

Skylar Osenkarski finished with a match-high 17 kills, Julia Andrejko and Maddie Lewis keyed big runs and the Royals earned a berth in the District 2 Class 2A final with a 3-0 sweep of the Mohawks on Tuesday night. Set scores were 25-18, 25-13 and 25-13.

Redeemer will be looking for its 12th straight championship, and will face off with second-seed Dunmore Thursday night at North Pocono High School. Dunmore eliminated Forest City in straight sets in Tuesday’s other semifinal.

“You know that the next time you lose, the season is over,” Andrejko said. “For us seniors, this is it. We want to go all the way. I think we need more intensity heading into the championship against Dunmore. I don’t think we had enough tonight. Getting to a district title game is always a surreal feeling, and it’s an amazing opportunity to have a chance to win four titles.”

Emotions are a funny thing, and it’s crazy how it differs on each side.

For Redeemer and its senior class, it’s the beginning of a journey where the expectations consist of walking out of Cumberland Valley High School with a state championship on Nov. 19.

On the other sideline, there’s Meyers — a team and school playing for the last time ever with the consolidation of the three Wilkes-Barre Area schools on the horizon.

The Mohawks took their best shot at pulling off a mammoth upset, down 21-18 in the first set, 9-8 in the second and knotted at 6-6 early in the final stanza.

“I am proud of our girls. They put up a fight and did what they could do,” Meyers head coach Jocelyn Robertson said. “There was emotions. This isn’t just our last game. This is our last match ever for Meyers. It took a while to get past the emotions. I was thinking about how this could be it as we walked into the gym. We told the girls to just focus and play as best as we could. I’m sure it will hit us later on tonight.”

There was just too much firepower from the Royals’ offense that features multiple hitters, and a back row that digs each ball to the front.

Like most that walk into the gymnasium, Meyers couldn’t stay away from that patent Royal run.

Redeemer, behind two straight kills from Osenkarski, scored the final four points of the first set for a 25-18 victory. It was Lewis, a serving specialist, that jump-started a 9-0 run to bust open what was a 9-8 second set.

“Every time I get on the court, I just want to keep the energy up,” Lewis said. “I want to play well and help the team. This means so much to us seniors. We know that every second and every point counts. It’s really important that we play our best every single game because one loss and it’s over for us.”

Andrejko made sure the Royals wouldn’t need more than three sets. The senior recorded seven straight points behind the service line, leading to a 12-1 run as Redeemer was out to a 18-7 lead.

Filling in for starting setter Korren Hicks, who was out with an illness, junior Abby Lapinski finished with 32 assists, spreading the offense through four main attackers: Osenkarski, Liv Moore, Sarah Liskowicz and Samantha Carr. The four combined for 37 of the Royals’ 39 kills.

Moore had eight kills, while Liskowicz and Carr each had six.

“I thought that we did just enough to win,” Redeemer head coach Jack Kablick said. “Now, we will regroup and get ready for Dunmore. We won’t need to say much to them. Outside of Liv, everyone else is a four-year player and a three-year starter. You don’t need to say much. They know what is ahead of them. You just want them to go out and play.”

Da’Nayia Ballard had four kills to lead Meyers, and teammate Ileaqua Adams added three assists.

MEYERS18 13 13 — 0 HOLY REDEEMER25 25 25 — 3

Source: The Associated Press

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