After defeating Warsaw, Penn Yan Volleyball team falls to the powerful Portville Panthers who have captured the Class C State Crown 3 out of the last 4 years.
In the end, they got a much-deserved standing ovation. The girls’ volleyball team of Penn Yan did not win the game, but they advanced further than any previous iteration of the squad, losing, 3-0 to Portville in the Far West Regionals of the New York State tournament.
Portville has won state championships in three of the last four seasons, and it showed as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the Mustangs in the first game before coach Eileen Wunder took a timeout. Penn Yan scored off the timeout, but Portville extended its lead to 14-1 before a kill by Caitlin Wunder made it 14-2. Portville then rattled off five more points to make it 19-2. The Mustangs were able to manage just three more points as they dropped the first set 25-5.
The second game saw Portville run to a 4-0 lead, but Penn Yan rallied and made it 6-3 on another Wunder spike. The team was communicating well and talking loudly, but Portville regrouped and extended its lead to 16-5 before a Penn Yan time out. “Keep fighting blue, let’s go,” urged a member of the crowd but Portville wrapped up a 25-9 score to take game two.
In game three, the Mustangs showed they had fight left in them when a Wunder block tied the score at one, getting the crowd into it. The teams traded points until it was tied 5-5. But Portville proved to be too much as they rolled off scoring streaks of four and six points to lead 15-7. With the score at 24-11, there was one more long volley before the game, and the match came to a close at 25-11. It was then that Penn Yan’s fans stood and saluted their most accomplished volleyball squad in a tribute for the season they had.
“I am so grateful for this group of girls and the fans who came out and supported us throughout the season,” said coach Eileen Wunder. “It seems forever ago when we were at open gym this past summer.”
The girls’ work ethic served them well this season. “On more than one occasion I ended up taking the nets down at 10 p.m. while they continued to play,” Wunder explained. “They didn’t want to stop. That’s the attitude and work that got them to the finals.”
The team graduates three seniors but Wunder doesn’t see any let up in her remaining players. “The juniors and freshmen from the team are looking to be right back there again next year, “ she said.
Penn Yan 3 Warsaw 0
The Penn Yan Mustang Volleyball team defeated Warsaw 3-0 (25-25-25 to 13-13-28) Nov. 6 to advance to the Far West Regional round of the state tournament.