O'HARA TWP — In last Thursday's WPIAL girls volleyball semifinal playoff, Freeport overcame a two-sets-to-none hole to defeat Avonworth.
But could the Yellowjackets pull off the same feat against defending champion North Catholic?
Freeport's response was a resounding “Yes!”
The 'Jackets earned their first WPIAL title since 2016 with a thrilling 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-13 Class 2A triumph at Fox Chapel High School Saturday afternoon.
“Against Avonworth, I called out the seniors after we lost the first two games,” said Freeport coach Tom Phillips. “It was more mellow today. Not that we weren't concerned being down 2-0, but we believed we could do it.”
Kills from Lauren Lampus, Tori Radvan and Isabella Russo helped Freeport (19-0) maintain a modest lead throughout the fifth set. North Catholic cut the score to 14-13 with Ava Whitesel's kill, but Russo answered with one of her own to give Freeport the fifth WPIAL title in program history.
North (20-1) also entered the match undefeated.
The turning point came early in the third set when the Yellowjackets opened up a 9-1 lead. Lampus tallied six kills to keep the 'Jackets alive.
“The first two sets, we played as a team,” said North senior hitter Libby Palmer, who finished the day with 15 kills. “Then we get down like we did in the third and it shocked us. We split up and started playing as individuals. We're a good team, but we have to play as a unit.”
Freeport setter Maddie Clark dished out 43 assists in the win. Lauren Lampus tallied 18 kills, Russo 17 kills and Radvan 10 kills.
Felix led the Trojanettes with 23 kills.