CHELTENHAM >> Paige Monastero and Morgan Silks got into one of those grooves on the service line you just don’t see too often, especially in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A volleyball playoffs.
And Archbishop Carroll is still undefeated because of it.
With Monastero and Silks piling up the points, the District 12 champion Patriots cruised to a 3-0 victory over Downingtown West in the final game of a playoff tripleheader at Bishop McDevitt Thursday night.
Manastero was on the service line for five straight points in the opening set as the Patriots (23-0) opened up a five-point cushion and breezed to a surprising 25-5 victory. Monastero rattled off six straight points to start the second set and lead Carroll to a 25-18 triumph.
“Our coaches really stress passing and serving in practice,” Monastero said. “That’s one of our main things and it really helps us a lot in the matches because we get so used to each other.”
Silks took over from there. The final set was tied at five when she stepped to the service line. It was 19-5 before the Whippets (17-5) were able to end the run. The third-ranked Patriots went on to take the final set, 25-11, to set up a quarterfinal showdown Saturday with No. 1 Bishop Shanahan, a 3-1 winner over Liberty.
“We just found that adrenaline that kept us going,” Silks said. “I could feel the rest of the team feeding off that energy and it fired us up to make that next serve.”
Manestero and Silks finished with five aces apiece. The Patriots had 13 aces in the three sets. Manestero also had nine kills and nine digs. Silks finished with 20 assists.
Carroll did have a bit of an advantage in the first set. The Whippets were without their libero, Regina Schetroma, in the first set because of a uniform violation.
“She changed her shirt and didn’t tell me,” Downingtown West coach David Parrish said. “I got a yellow card and could not get off the bench and she couldn’t play, and we just never got in sync.”
Schetroma came up with 14 digs in the final two sets. Aly Reardon added six kills. Sophie Gelling chipped in with three kills and four blocks and Kenzie Pincura had five kills, but this was Carroll’s night.
“We played better in the second game, but they’re a very good team, very solid defensively,” Parrish said. “We couldn’t quite get into our system enough to threaten them. And then that big run they had in the third set put things away.”
Hannah Wright was putting most of those shots away. The Catholic League MVP finished with 20 kills. Mary Kate Painter helped pace the defensive effort with nine digs.
The service game, though, was the difference.
“At this stage of the game it’s all about serving and passing,” Carroll coach Brian McCann said. “The first contact is so important. Everything goes from there.”
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