Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Derry Bows in Piaa Ambridge Tops Trojans in Semis

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Derry Bows in Piaa Ambridge Tops Trojans in Semis

Article excerpt

There's an old saying that goes: "Be careful what you wish for ... it may come true."

Such was the case for the Derry Area High School boys volleyball team this week. The Trojans got the rematch they had hoped for, but the results were similar to its first meeting against WPIAL champion Ambridge Area.

The Trojans faced Ambridge for the second time in 12 days, with hopes of avenging its loss to the Bridgers in the WPIAL Class AA title match on May 23.

The two teams met again in Tuesday's PIAA semifinals and Derry came up short again. Ambridge recorded a 3-0 sweep for the second time, but the rematch was much closer and certainly closer than the shutout score would indicate.

In fact, it was so close that Derry was serving for set-point with a 24-22 lead in the first game. Ambridge rallied to pull out a 28-26 victory. Derry's six serving errors were the difference.

"When you're facing a power team such as Ambridge, you have to serve aggressively," said Derry coach Shawn Spencer, when asked about the serving errors. "So I expected to have serving errors. You just hope they don't come at critical times."

Ambridge jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the second set, but Derry rallied to tie the match at 15. Ambridge scored 10 of the next 14 points to complete a 25-19 victory. The Bridgers closed out the match with a 25-23 win.

"Anytime you lose a tough set like that, bouncing back in the next set can be difficult," Spencer said. "We got off to a slow start in the second set, but the kids battled back and gave Ambridge all it could handle."

It wasn't enough to lead Derry to victory.

"Ambridge is a very good team," Spencer said. "Coming into the season, everybody knew they were the team to beat and they proved it."

Spencer is disappointed with the loss, but pleased with Derry's performance during the 2013 season.

"I'm very proud of what the boys were able to accomplish," Spencer said. "We had only two kids back at the same position from last year's squad, and were able to make it back to the WPIAL finals. …

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