CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights head coach Jamie Spangler stresses a strong service game from his team.
The Comets executed their plan to near perfection and swept Elk Lake in three sets, 25-7, 25-4, 25-19, in a Lackawanna League boys volleyball match on Thursday evening.
Abington Heights recorded eight consecutive points in the first set, including four service aces from Phil Gattorna, to take a 15-4 lead.
“The past few practices, we’ve been working on our A and B serves,” Gattorna said. “A is more aggressive and B is safe. We came out strong and were hitting aggressive serves over the net. A lot of points come from serves and once we saw they were having trouble returning them, that’s when we really brought on the heat.”
After a serving error by Gattorna, the Comets tallied to next seven points, capped by a kill from Dan Munley, to lead 22-5. Kevin Albright clinched the first set for the Comets with a kill off an assist from Sean Salmon.
The Comets began the second set on a 7-0 as the Warriors had difficulty returning the serve of Rhys Yarns. Abington Heights also had a 9-0 run in the set, that featured three kills from Eric Brickel, to take a 16-2 lead. Salmon, who had 11 assists, set up Trey Yarns for a kill to end the second set.
“This is his third year on the varsity team so we expect him to be a pretty strong contributor and leader as one of our captains,” Spangler said of Salmon.
Elk Lake (0-1) provided a little more resistance in the third set as the Warriors used a pair of kills from Logan Moon to cut the Comets lead to 20-18. Abington Heights closed the final set on a 5-1 run and Rob McGarry clinched the victory with a kill off an assist from Sandon Birch.
“Our servers were keeping the ball in play with aggressive serves,” Salmon said. “Anytime they did return it, our passers were doing a great job keeping the ball up for someone to put it down real fast. We make sure we communicate effectively.”
Abington Heights had nine hitting errors in the first two sets while Elk Lake had 20.
“We always serve aggressively,” Spangler said. “It’s one of the things we emphasize and focus on a lot. They struggled returning our serves and we didn’t make too many mistakes.”
Rhys Yarns led the Comets with eight digs. He also contributed seven service aces. Gattorna also finished with seven aces, including three straight in the first set. Brickel led Abington with five kills, McGarry had three and Gattorna and Albright each had two.
“We been focusing on the basics and taking practices seriously,” Gattorna said. “It’s something we’ve had a little bit of trouble with in the past, but we’re really working on it this year to help bring us together as a team.”
Abington Heights (2-0) will host Western Wayne in a Lackawanna League match at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 at Clarks Summit Elementary.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.