JOHNSONBURG – The Ramettes were lackadaisical in the first set Thursday night but regrouped in time for a three-set win (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) over visiting Punxsutawney.
Johnsonburg was down by as much as eight points in the first set at 16-8 before making a turnaround to take control of the opening stanza. A kill from Chelsea Benson cut the lead to 18-15 and a Katie Galsick kill tied it at 18-all. The teams traded points to a 22-21 Punxsy lead before the Ramettes showed up.
Keisha Dornish came up with a kill to tie the set at 22-all before Brittany Watts replicated the move with a kill of her own for the 23-22 advantage. Dornish followed up with another big big before a block from Watts gave the home team the first set at 25-22.
With the first one under their belts, Johnsonburg started out better in the second set and never trailed en route to a 25-22 win. Up 20-12, the Ramettes were outscored 9-3 in the next 12 points before a Punxsy error stymied the rally at 24-21. After a Ramette miscue to cut the lead to two points, Benson laid down a kill for the second set, 25-22.
"We would like to be able to build a lead and get some of the younger players into the game but you have to be careful to maintain the lead," said Johnsonburg head girls varsity volleyball coach Bill Shuey.
Some miscues for the Ramettes continued into the third set in what was a more closely-contested set. The Lady Chucks built an early 3-0 lead but the advantage proved premature as a Benson ace and Watts kill would later right the ship at 7-4. The Ramettes were able to build a five-point lead through the set as a late long ball moved Johnsonburg to 21-17. Punxsutawney scrapped out two more points before Galsick tip one over the net for a 22-19 advantage.
"In the third set, it seemed like for a few plays, we just weren't going after the ball," Shuey said. "Our players were where they needed to be to start but they needed to move our feet and they didn't do it.
"I don't know why this is, sometimes we just have that lack of focus."
Johnsonburg moved one point closer to 23-19 with Kiana Myers at the serving line and after trading net violations, a Punxsy miscue gave the Ramettes the 25-21 win, and a three-set victory.
With three losses on the season thus fair, Shuey said he is pleased with his team's performance over the first month of play.
"We hesitated sometimes and I wonder why we're diving on the floor a lot when they're serving," Shuey said. "We seemed to be just a little bit behind at times but I thought our offense was good, I thought our net play was good, and we were able to find the openings. I think the girls are starting to gel.
"I think we're coming along really well, maybe better than I thought we would be. We've improved since the beginning of the year with setting, passing, and we still have to work on our serves because I think we've missed too many serves-- that's something that comes and goes."
Johnsonburg is at Curwensville Tuesday with junior varsity action to start at 6 p.m.