UNIONTOWN, Pa. – While Fayette's 3-0 win over Penn State New Kensington improved the volleyball team's winning streak to eight games, it was a new chapter in the rich tradition of Penn State Fayette Women's Volleyball. It was the day that Fayette Head Coach Nancy Wheeler notched her 100th career victory.
The Roaring Lions (15-5, 8-0) won the first game 25-13 but the game was much closer than the score indicated. The teams were tied at 10 before Fayette ripped off a 15-3 run. Kaitlyn Salisbury (Madison, Pa.) started the run with a thundering kill off of an Emily Konter (Brownsille, Pa.) set. Konter also had two service aces during the run and Janelle Cooper (Mt. Braddock, Pa.) had one.
Fayette's 15-3 run in the first gamed did nothing to deter a deeply determined New Kensington squad that seemed to find its rhythm early in the second game and briefly held a two-point advantage. Again, Fayette got hot and used a 19-7 streak do put the second set away, winning 25-14.
Konter served for six points, including an ace and Lara Hefner (Bridgeport, W.Va.) a pair of during her run of seven consecutive service points. Again, Helmantoler started the run with a pair of kills. Salisbury added one and Cooper added a block and the fifth-ranked Roaring Lions were on their way.
Fayette finally was able to put away the spirited Lady Lions with a 25-8 win in the third set. The Roaring Lions raced to a 16-3 lead and never looked back. Abby Tirpak (California, Pa.) had nine straight service points to key an 8-0 run.
For the match Helmantoler led the offense with 17 kills, while Konter notched 19 assists. Cooper chipped in with seven kills and added a pair of blocks. Helmantoler and Konter each had six digs, Tirpak five and Emily Caldwell (Belle Vernon, Pa.) five.
Wheeler picked up the historic win mid-way through her fourth season. The three-time PSUAC Coach of the Year, is 100-47 but has suffered just two losses within the PSUAC.
"I didn't even have a clue that I was close," Wheeler said with a laugh. "This isn't about me though," she explained. "The real credit goes to all of the players that I have been fortunate to coach."
"Nancy's way too modest," Fayette Athletic Director Vince Capozzi points out. "It is one thing to blessed great athletes, but you still have to coach develop tem."
Fayette returns to action on Wednesday, when it hosts Penn State Greater Allegheny and Penn State Beaver. First serve is at 6:30 p.m.