FORESTVILLE - Everything went right for the No. 4 Forestville Lady Hornets as they dismantled the No. 5 Panama Lady Panthers, Tuesday, in a Section 6 Class D-2 quarterfinal volleyball tilt.
Forestville rarely ran into any trouble in taking the match in three straight sets, 25-7, 25-12, 25-15.
"There are a lot of things that stick out," Forestville coach Jack Dugan said of his team's success. "You're going to see the obvious assists from Ryanne (Dugan) and kills from Sydney (Youngberg) and Alisha (Szumigala).
OBSERVER Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Forestville seniors Cherish Pope (6) and Sydney Youngberg (3) go up for a block to earn a point against Panama, during their Section 6 Class D-2 quarterfinal girls' volleyball match, Tuesday, in Forestville.
"I was looking at our stats," he continued, "and you had Cherish Pope, Baylee Gloss, Sierra Tweedie and Kendra Silleman passing balls to target to set up our offense. Those little things don't show up on the stats but are huge when playing the game."
Dugan was certainly right about the obvious stats. Youngberg led the Lady Hornets with 13 kills and three blocks while Szumigala added eight kills and three blocks. Ryanne Dugan was good for 30 assists and three aces.
Forestville established its dominance right off the bat by scoring the game's first five points, but the Lady Hornets were just getting started.
Up 12-6, Forestville, behind the pin-point serves of Emily Gilman, went on an 11-0 run that all but ended the first game. Szumigala played a huge role in the run with three kills and a pair of blocks.
When Youngberg and Szumigala weren't actually blocking the ball, they were forcing Panama into shots that sailed long or wide.
"We pride ourselves on our defense more than our offense," Dugan said. "Like any sport, we believe our defense will create our offense. We work on that in practice so that everybody is in the right position."
"We just couldn't match up with Forestville's size," Panama coach Deb Palmer admitted. "Plus you have (Ryanne) Dugan running the show. She knows what she's doing out there. It's a senior-dominated squad."
Panama made a few adjustments in the second game and kept it much closer - for a little while at least.
Some nice serving from Cora Monroy led Panama on a 4-0 run that put the Lady Panthers up 7-6. Monroy finished with two kills, a block and five service points.
Forestville responded with a 16-4 run to build a comfortable 22-11 lead. Pope, Szumigala and Youngberg continued to rain spikes down on Panama and combined for seven kills during the run.
Panama battled hard in the third game and put up its most points of any set, but Forestville proved to be too big, too deep and too talented for the young Lady Panthers squad.
"Forestville played lights out in the first game," Palmer added. "We were greatly improved in the second and third games."
The Lady Hornets didn't have any huge runs as they had in the first two games, but methodically outscored their opponent like they have so often this season.
Forestville faced so little adversity in this contest that even Dugan was a little surprised.
"It's Panama," he explained. "They're always well coached. I knew her kids would play hard and be well prepared for us. I had a funny feeling we were going to be pretty focused tonight. (My girls) didn't disappoint me by any means."
The win sets up a tough matchup with No. 1 Ellicottville, Thursday, in the D-2 semifinals.
"These kids are mentally strong," Dugan praised. "They don't let the last play, good or bad, affect them. They don't look to win three games in a row. They're just looking to win the next point."
NOTES: Silleman recorded four digs and four aces in the win while Pope accounted for five kills and two aces. Gilman and Jessica Makuch combined for eight kills. For Panama, Carly Abbate registered seven assists, four digs, one kill and three service points. Crystal Swanson added three kills, one block, one dig and an ace.