No one can say that Garnet Valley took the easy route to the PIAA Class 4A volleyball tournament.
After losing to Council Rock North in the semifinals, the Jaguars bounced back with a tough three-set victory over Upper Merion in the fifth-place playback round and secured its spot in the state tournament with a 3-0 triumph over Avon Grove in the fifth-place game Saturday.
Garnet Valley’s reward is a first-round date with the winner of Saturday night’s District 3 championship game between Red Lion and Hempfield.
Erin Patterson pounded 13 kills as the Jaguars (20-3) won, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21, to earn their first trip to the state tournament since 2014. Sekai Kaminski (10 kills, five digs), Sydney Portale (eight kills, seven digs, two aces), Nicole Loan (six kills) and Julianna Hurley (three kills) also were on the attack for Garnet Valley.
Gabby Davis set the attack in motion with 33 assists and also contributed on the defensive end with 11 digs. Lizzie Herestoga collected 15 digs and one ace. Meg Scott (six digs) and Amber Goldberg (five digs, four asces) also came up big for the Jags.