UPPER DUBLIN >> After splitting two tight sets and two blowout sets, Gwynedd Mercy Academy and West York went to a decisive fifth set in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA state playoffs.
West York won seven of the final nine points to win the fifth set and advance to the second round with a win, 25-23, 27-29, 25-16, 15-25, 15-12, at Upper Dublin High School Tuesday afternoon.
All match West York senior Marisa Krinock gave the Monarchs problems and that continued in the fifth set. She used her height, power and touch to frustrate GMA and she scored three points in the decisive set.
GMA’s Lizzy Ferguson and Abigail Kress each scored three points in the fifth set, but all early to help the Monarchs build a 10-8 lead.
After West York tied the match at 10, Trilby Kite tallied back-to-back aces, followed by a Krinock kill, to give the Bulldogs a 13-10 lead.
The Monarchs cut it to 13-12, but West York scored the final two points — capped by an ace — to win the match and advance in the tournament. The Bulldogs will face the winner of Greater Nanticoke and Palmyra.
West York won the first set, which was close from start to finish, 25-23. The Bulldogs biggest lead was three and GMA’s was two.
The second set was just as close, but this one went to Gwynedd. Senior Gabrielle Greene broke a 27-27 tie and West York hit the ceiling on the ensuing volley to give GMA a 29-27 win.
The third set was all West York. It jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back. That advantage ballooned to 10 at 19-9 and the Bulldogs finished it off, 25-16.
Gwynedd came back just as strong in the fourth set. The Monarchs started with a 6-2 lead that grew to 13-3. West York got within five at 17-12 and 20-15, but were never able to get closer. Gwynedd won, 25-15, to force a fifth set.
The loss brings Gwynedd’s season —one in which it won a District 1 championship — to an end.