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STAC VOLLEYBALL: OWEGO TURNS BACK FORKS CHALLENGE (2023-09-13)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — When you have a program as successful as the one Owego volleyball has had the past several years, there’s a big bullseye on your back with every opponent you face.

The River Hawks received a dose of that reality Tuesday evening as they were forced to rally to defeat Chenango Forks, 3-1, in STAC volleyball action.

The Blue Devils handed the River Hawks a 25-23 setback in the opening game, the first time Owego has dropped a set in four matches this season.

The Hawks regrouped, however, and dominated game two, 25-12, and most of game three in a 25-16 win. Forks made a late charge in game four before Owego prevailed, 25-21.

“I think we came in with the mindset that we were just going to win,” Owego coach Abbey Manning said. “From the very beginning I've told them that we can not come in with that mindset, that we have to come in (thinking) that every team wants to come and beat us because that's true.

“The first set, this sounds bad, but I'm glad we lost because it almost put the pressure on us. It put the pressure on us to move forward from that set, and I'm glad it was early in the season instead of late in the season compared to last year.”

Maggie Hamed paced the Hawks with a double-double, recording 18 kills and 10 digs. Lexi Herceg and Bella Miller dished out 18 and 11 assists, respectively, Alyssa Morales pitched in with 14 digs and Shannon Maslin contributed eight digs. Michael Terry had four kills and Logan Georgia tacked on a pair of blocks.

For Forks, Jessica Stone registered seven kills and four blocks, Maggie Warpus chipped in with seven kills, Savannah Stinson served up five aces and Lynnee Sutton added 15 digs.

“I think we really have to just clean up our unforced errors,” Forks coach Samantha Thrasher said. “We had a little bit of miscues on some things that we didn't capitalize on. I think we gave them a lot more points from our errors than really making them earn the points.

“I think if we can connect my serve receive and defense to my upfront, I think we would be really good, but I think we're still trying to connect it, and this was honestly a really good game because it was well all around.”

Owego (3-0) visits Chenango Valley Thursday.

JV: Owego swept in dominating fashion, 25-8 and 25-10.

Alyssa Harrington served up seven aces to go with two kills and a dig. Payton Newman had three aces, a kill, an assist and a dig; Emme Bennett added three digs and two aces; and Kylie Craven recorded five aces.

Peyton Coolbaugh chipped in with two aces a dig and an assist; Keeley Wicklund had an ace and an assist; and Evelyn Howe and Jana Nikulich added one ace each.

The Hawks also won the exhibition third game, 25-19.

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IN PHOTO 1: Owego’s Logan Georgia. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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