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Pope John Paul II tops Perk Valley in 3 sets to reach PAC final

UPPER MERION >> The Pope John Paul II girls volleyball team beat Perk Valley in three games, 25-18, 25-13, 25-20, Tuesday night at Upper Merion Area High School in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four.

The No. 1 seeded Panthers face No. 3 seeded Spring-Ford Thursday for the championship at Upper Merion.

Pope John Paul didn’t face much adversity in the first two games, winning 25-18 and 25-13.

In the third game the Vikings jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the undefeated Rams battled back. PJP tied the game at 11 and pulled away to win, 25-20.

“(Perk Valley) matches up well with us,” PJP coach Ryan Sell said. “They’re a big, physical team. They block a lot at the net. They’re one of the teams that match up best with us in the PAC. They’re a good team.”

“Coming in we knew — against PJP who hasn’t lost a game all year — we had to play a perfect game,” PV coach Drew Scheeler said. “I’m happy. Our girls played tough. I think we pushed PJP a little bit. In the end, we came up short, but overall happy with the performance tonight.”

PJP’s Myah Cordrey tallied a game-high 12 kills, Alana Pergine added 11 and Mary Kate Mooney eight. Hayley Wusinich paced the Panthers with 39 assists and Alyssa Cianciulli had 15 digs.

PV’s Sarah Straub had six kills and two assists. Ellie Min tallied nine assists, eight digs and four kills.

Pope John Paul, defending co-champions, beat Spring-Ford twice this season and looks forward to competing in the first PAC championship game.

“It would be (special) because it’s the first year the league is having this kind of championship,” Sell said. “Ever since they’ve created this PAC-10 league we’ve been one of the top teams and to win the first championship, that would be nice for us. That was one of the goals for the kids when we started our season.”

PV turns its attention to the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs that start next week. The Vikings went 19-10-2 and expect to be one of the lower seeds in the district.

“Right now we’re sitting towards the bottom but we should make districts,” Scheeler said. “We’ll probably have to go on the road on Tuesday, but it should be a team we hopefully match up well against and hopefully get that victory in the first round. Who knows what happens from there.”

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