UPPER DUBLIN >> Before the game, Upper Dublin head coach Paul Choi said moving on in the postseason would be a matter of which team showed up. Luckily for Choi and the No. 11 Cardinals, while they may have not played a perfect game, they played well enough to win as they beat No. 22 Central Bucks South 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21) to advance in the District 1-AAAA playoffs.
“We were up and down tonight, kind of like a roller coaster,” said Choi of his team’s performance “I want to give all the credit to South, because they’re a phenomenal team and just kept a lot of things in play. We had a lot of mistakes and could have been better in some areas but in the playoffs you have to be able to pull out a win and we were able to do that.’
Jenny McAneney (13 kills) and Maggie Weglos (19 kills) combined for 32 of the Cardinals 43 total kills as they used superior net play to control the match.
McAneny had a couple crucial points in both the third and fourth game to hold off the Titans, something the senior co-captain has been doing all season long for her team.
“She’s been our go to hitter since day one,” said Choi of McAneney “When it gets close we know it, everyone in the league knows it, we rely on her to get a ball she can bang on a good set and go from there.”
Trailing 20-16 in a crucial game three it looked as if the Titans would be able to win the game and take a 2-1 lead in the match. Luckily for the Cardinals Weglos and McAneney had other plans as the team went on a 9-3 run to end the game, take control, and eventually win the match.
South had their opportunities as the Cardinals played sloppy at points and left the door open in the fourth and final game, but too many unforced errors brought the Titans’ season to an end a little earlier than they would have liked.
“We looked good, played well, but also made the mistakes that cost us the match,” said CB South head coach Kurt Godfrey. “Upper Dublin is a talented well coached team but we kind of killed ourselves too a little bit, a lot of service errors, and between that and putting the ball in the net it caught up with us a little.”
The win brings the Cardinals to the second round of the District 1-AAAA playoffs, for the third season in a row, where they will face No. 6 Council Rock North.
In 2014 and 2015 the Cardinals also made it to the second round, only to be bounced, so this round will mark a hurdle that they hope to be able to climb.
Unfortunately for them, beating Council Rock North is no easy task. The Indians finished the year as SOL National champion with a record of 20-2 (18-0 in conference) and are as hot as any team in the area right now.
“In order to beat North we’re going to need the team to show up,” Choi said. “They’re 18-0 in their conference, won the league, and they are solid all around. They’ve got hitting, good setters, and their defense is really good so we’re going to need to fight for everything. Build up our strengths and limit our weaknesses a little bit and I think we can do that.”
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