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St. Basil holds off Gwynedd Mercy for 5-set win on Senior Night

St. Basil's Sarah Mace tries to hit past Gwynedd Mercy’s Vivi Campbell during their match on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)
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ABINGTON >> Gwynedd Mercy rallied to force the St. Basil girls volleyball team into a fifth set for the first time this season Monday.

But the Panthers were not going to have Senior Night get spoiled. Tied at seven in the deciding set, St. Basil ran off three straight points to start a deciding 8-2 run as the Panthers claimed a 3-2 (25-22, 25-19, 18-25, 18-25, 15-9) AACA victory.

“We stayed aggressive,” said St. Basil coach Jess Dembeck of the fifth set. “I felt they were playing it safe and they were getting everything up so we just had to make sure we kept at them and kept swinging hard.”

Gwynedd Mercy’s Katie Denitz goes up to block St.Basil’s Morgan Schissler during their match on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Sarah Mace finished with 12 kills and 14 digs, Overton had eight kills and three blocks while Emily DeMarshall collected 21 digs for the Panthers, who earned a second-straight win and swept the season-series with GMA.

“A little stressful, a little nerve-wracking but we pulled it through at the end,” Overton said. “Exciting win for us on Senior Night.”

St. Basil held off a late GMA charge to take the first set then used an 8-2 run in the second set to take the lead for good, winning 25-19 to go up 2-0 in the match.

“I think they were really excited – it was Senior Night. So that was a huge contributing factor,” Dembeck said. “ And then I think they were working together as a team. Lot of cohesiveness, that was huge for us.”

The Monarchs began to swings things in their direction midway through the third with Gwynedd Mercy coach Jae Lee knowing where the turning point was.

“Probably after my yellow and my red card and almost ejection,” Lee said. “So I was like, you know what, I told the girls ‘You girls, you already know how to play, I’m going to sit down, you guys coach yourself, have fun, don’t let me ruin your night.’”

Even 12-12 in the third set, the Monarchs went on a 10-3 run to grab a 22-15 and keep the match going with a 25-18 win.

GMA jumped all over the Panthers in the fourth set, using a 10-0 run to build a 14-2 lead. St. Basil fought to get within four (17-13) before the Monarchs won the set 25-18 to send the match in a winner-take-all fifth.

“Little rough but it happens sometimes though. You just have to pick yourself back up and move on to the next set,” Overton said.

St. Basil’s Emily DeMarshall reaches to dig out a serve during the Panthers’ match against Gwynedd Mercy on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The Monarchs took a 5-3 lead in the fifth before St. Basil responded with a three points to grab a 6-5 edge. GMA pulled even at 6-6 and 7-7 before Mace hit a ball off a block and out put the Panthers up. Mary Kelly dropped off the net and on the Monarchs side to make it 9-7 and forcing a GMA time out.

“I knew they would be composed just because they’ve been before in previous seasons. But it is a little nerve-wracking I think it is,” Dembeck said. “We’re ready for anything when it comes to playoffs.”

St. Basil added a point out of the time out to make it 10-7 before Gwynedd ended the three-point burst. The Panthers, however, took the next two and from there GMA could only get within three (12-9) as St. Basil claimed the final three points to earn the 15-9 set victory.

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