Trojans sweep Shamokin to take district title
LAWRENCEVILLE - The Troy Trojans had accomplished a lot the past three seasons, but there was always one thing missing from their resume.
There were tournament titles and NTL titles and even undefeated regular seasons.
However, when it came to districts, this group at Troy hadn't won that yet.
All that changed on Thursday with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-17 victory over Shamokin.
"It's about freaking time," Troy's Kelsey Bristol said of winning the title.
"It's been our biggest goal the last two years," Kari Ammerman said.
For the Troy players it was a great feeling when they finally won the one thing that had been eluding them.
"It feels like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders," Ammerman said.
"It's the best feeling," Lynzi Rountree said. "We have been working for this all season."
Over the past two years the Trojans have been used to having teams say things about them having a boy on the roster as Jordan Ellsworth played a key role in the district title winning team.
However, on Thursday it was Shamokin who had a boy that was drawing plenty of attention as they used 6-foot, 6-inch John Thompson at the net.
"We just did the same things we usually do," Taryn Hicks said.
"We are used to it," Bristol said of going against a boy.
For the Trojans it was different being the team that was going up against someone with that kind of height.
"We are used to having a boy and having people complain," Hicks said. "This time we got to show you can play against a boy."
"It's not just one boy, It's a team," Bristol added.
On Thursday it was the Trojans who had the better team as five different players had five or more kills in the victory.
Shamokin had defeated the Trojans rivals Towanda in the semifinals and Troy was happy to see someone else in the final.
"It's really hard to beat a team three times," Rountree said of the idea of playing Towanda in a final.
"I think if we had played Towanda it would have been really close," Bristol said. "It's better to play someone else. We don't know them that well, but they don't know us very well either."
For Troy now there is a trip to states and a game that is right now scheduled in Athens on Tuesday against the District 2 champions.
"We have to keep practicing and keep working, but it's going to be exciting," Hicks said.
And, getting the game close to home is something the Troy players are excited about.
"We are going to be nervous, but it's nice to be able to play in front of our family and friends," Bristol said. "It's not home, but it's a place we are used to so it's like home for us."
Right from the start on Thursday the Trojans came out strong.
The first game was tied at three, but a kill and ace from Ellsworth, followed by a Kristyn Kinner ace and kills by Jenn Shults and Bristol and the Trojans were up 8-4.
Shamokin got within 11-8, but Ellsowrth had a block, a kill and two aces and Hicks had an ace and Troy went up 20-10 and rolled to the win in game one.
Troy came out strong again in game two, jumping out to a 9-3 lead after an ace from Hicks.
Shamokin got within six again at 15-9, but Hicks had a pair of kills and Troy went up 19-10 on their way to the victory.
The third game started just like the previous two as Troy went up 15-5, however Shamokin was going to make Troy fight for the title.
Shamokin cut the deficit to 21-16, before Shults had a pair of kills and Troy closed out the game, and the match.
Hicks had 14 points, 14 digs, six kills and an ace and Rountree had 30 assists, three digs, four points, an ace and a kill.
Ellsworth had 10 points, three aces, eight kills, 12 blocks and two digs and Kinner had seven points, five kills, six blocks, a dig and an assist.
Bristol had six points, three aces, 12 kills, two blocks and 10 digs and Ammerman had two digs. Shults finished with two points, seven kills, two blocks and a dig.