LOWER MERION >> The Gwynedd Mercy Academy gym will soon have a new decoration.
“We always look at the banners on the wall and we’re like, ‘man, where are all the volleyball banners? We gotta get one up there,’” said the Monarchs’ Lizzy Ferguson. “Now we finally do.”
That’s because the Monarchs earned a 3-1 victory over perennial power Pope John Paul II Thursday night in the District 1 Class AAA Final at Harriton High School, giving GMA its first ever district crown in girls volleyball.
“It’s so great. I’m so proud of everyone on my team,” said Ferguson, who had 14 kills in the victory. “We have such a great connection on and off the court and I think we really brought it tonight. I’m just so proud of them.”
With each set tightly contested, third-seeded GMA took the first set 25-22 and then the top-seeded Golden Panthers took the second, 25-19. In what would be the pivotal set of the night, the Monarchs rallied from as many as six points down to take the third set, 27-25, and then closed it out, 25-23, in the fourth set.
“It was intense. We were just on the wrong end of it,” said Golden Panthers coach Ryan Sell, whose team had captured three district titles in the past five years. “Game Three, I thought we were all right. And (GMA) made a really nice run on us. They won the passing and the serving game for sure.
“We struggled to side out a little bit. It came down to passing and serving and they passed and served way better than we did.”
At the heart of that was Monarchs setter Gab DeLuca, who led the way with 35 assists.
“She did a great job. She was putting balls right where they needed to be,” Ferguson said. “We were hitting them down.”
Ferguson rounded out her performance with three solo blocks, a defensive dig and a very noticeable presence on the court.
“Lizzy’s her own party. She’s a great person and has a fun personality,” GMA coach Mike Nguyen said. “Lizzy made the team as a freshman and everyone gravitated towards her because of her energy, her positivity and her work ethic.”
Abigail Kress complemented Ferguson at the net, adding 11 kills and hitting the floor for 14 digs. The Monarchs won a long rally to close out the third set and then held on to clinch things up.
Pope John Paul II, which fell one win short of the district crown for the second straight season, got 12 kills from Alina Ralston and 11 from Mary Kate Mooney. GMA and PJP now both get ready for state play.
“We’re going to try to learn from it — that’s all we can do,” Sell said.
/ 14 hours ago
LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Qualifying for the PIAA Tournament has become the standard for the...
WEST GOSHEN >> Jason Rose ambled up and down the line of Garnet Valley...
WEST GOSHEN >> Exactly what Erin Finley and her fellow Villa Maria seniors were...
WEST CHESTER >> As the Garnet Valley High girls lacrosse team was moving toward...
WEST CHESTER >> The two-time defending PIAA champion Springfield Cougars had an out-of-body experience...
RADNOR >> A few minutes after Strath Haven defeated Radnor, 9-8, in overtime Thursday,...
A baserunning blunder earlier in the game may have cost Clay Corcimiglia and Delaware...
UPPER DARBY >> Regardless of what Hannah Oropollo does in the girls Class 3A...
/ 16 hours ago
WEST GOSHEN >> Thursday night, the Conestoga lacrosse team ran into a tale as...
/ 16 hours ago
SOUTH LEBANON — Just get in. Anything can happen. Governor Mifflin did and...
/ 18 hours ago
PLYMOUTH TWP. >> For the first time in school history, the Lower Moreland High...
/ 18 hours ago
BENSALEM >> Sam Gingerich’s flying block and Dock Mennonite’s big rally from five points...