NTL VOLLEYBALL: YOUNG NEB GROWS UP DURING 2022 SEASON
(2022-11-18)Northern Tier Sports Report
It was going to be a different year for NEB volleyball, especially with 4-year stalwart Emily Susanj off to college. However, the young Panthers found their own path, as they finished the season strong to make the district playoffs for the fourth straight season.
NEB went 10-8 on the season, and it was quite the journey getting there. They opened the year with a 3-2 win over Wellsboro, but would go on to lose eight of their next 11 matches to fall to 4-8 on the season.
They boasted three sweeps during that time, including a 3-0 win over rivals Towanda, but had two tough 3-2 losses to Troy and district finalists Wyalusing.
However, a 3-0 win over Loyalsock started a six match win streak that got them into the playoffs. Two key wins were 3-1 over NTL Small School champions Canton, and a 3-1 win over district semifinalist Williamson on the road.
That got them into districts, where they lost to Athens 3-1.
With no seniors this was shaping up to be a rebuilding year, but the run at the end of the season showed just how good they could be.
Setter Gabby Susanj earned her 500th career assist, while Emma Neuber and Toni Herb developed as outside hitters. Abby O’Connor and Alexis Corter stepped up in the middle, Kiarra DeLancey was consistent at the libero position, and newcomer Kelsea Moore earned a rotation spot.
All of them will be back next season. That, coupled with Canton and Wyalusing having heavy losses to graduation, and in the coach’s box, means the Panthers are in good position to challenge for the NTL Small School title next season.
Districts will still be tough next year, with NP-Liberty and Athens also in the group, but as NEB showed down the final stretch of the season, there’s nobody they can’t compete with when they’re playing well.
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