RADNOR — Anyone who thought Garnet Valley’s 3-1 victory over Archbishop Carroll Wednesday night was nothing more than a nonleague match to fill out the volleyball schedule at the end of the regular season was sadly mistaken.
The showdown between two of the top teams in the area was a tune-up for the District 1 and Catholic League tournaments, which start next week.
“I’ll go and play a game like this any time,” Carroll coach Brian McCann said. “That’s a great team, and Greg is a great coach. It was two really good teams slugging it out. It was a really good match.”
“It was a great test,” Garnet Valley coach Greg Wood said. “That’s why we wanted to play it now, right before the playoffs. They’re a scrappy team, good players all around.”
Wednesday was everything you would expect from a Garnet Valley team that just completed its third straight undefeated run through the Central League and is ranked eighth in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 4A poll and a Carroll squad that is vying for its third consecutive Catholic League title.
The Jaguars (16-2) had to dig deep to come out with the 25-20, 27-25, 23-25, 25-18 victory. Garnet Valley overcame a six-point deficit in the first set and climbed out of five-point hole in the second to extend its winning streak to five.
“We didn’t pass the way we normally do, which hurt us,” Wood said, “but we were able to dig out of it with some good serving and some good blocking.”
Wanting a little payback for a five-set loss to the Patriots a year ago didn’t hurt, either.
“There always is a little revenge when you lose the year before,” senior Gwen Clark said. “The big thing, for us as a team, was that we were able to come back and win after being down in those first couple of sets.”
Clark had a hand in the rally. She was on the service line during a seven-point run in the first set that turned a 16-13 deficit into a 20-16 lead. The Patriots (14-3) cut the deficit to 21-20 before Sam Mann slammed one of her 15 kills to start a four-point run to clinch the set.
Mann also had the final kill as the Jaguars crawled out of a pair of five-point holes in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Mann had four blocks and a staggering .737 hitting percentage.
Fellow senior Emma Rokosky finished with 10 kills, 12 digs and three aces. Ally Hartney collected eight kills, five blocks and had a .500 hitting percentage. Alanna Hagerty added eight kills and one block. All-Delco setter Rachel Cain dished out 41 assists and registered five digs.
“This was a great test for us,” Rokosky said. “They’re a team that plays really well, and it was perfect for us to test some things out and see what we need to work on. We know we’re going to have a lot of tough games coming up.”
Playing the second of three matches in three days, Carroll pushed Garnet Valley thanks to the play of All-Delco outside hitter Paige Monastero (16 kills), setter Melanie Cotes (22 assists), libero Meghan McCann (18 digs) and Abby Wright (six aces).
The Patriots are right back at it Thursday. They host Lansdale Catholic in the final league match of the season. Carroll needs to win one set, Brian McCann said, to clinch the top seed for the PCL playoffs.
“We’re sad that we lost, but we fought hard,” Monastero said. “That’s what we have to do (Thursday). We have to come out and keep fighting.”
In other nonleague action:
Cardinal O’Hara 3, Radnor 0 >> Maeve Boylan collected 16 assists, five digs, five kills, three aces and one block in the 25-12, 25-23, 25-17 victory. Isa Kirchner (seven kills, two blocks) and Regan Hickey (10 kills, three digs) also came up big for the Lions (20-1).
Senior Izzy Criscuolo had six aces, two kills and two blocks to lead the Raiders. Sammy Scannapieco (12 digs) paced the defense. Eric DiCarlo (11 assists) set the offense in motion, while Grayce Henderson added four kills and two aces.
Downingtown East 3, Strath Haven 1 >> Haily Blum had 34 assists, nine digs, two kills and two aces in the 15-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-16 loss. Megan Prendergast pitched in with 21 digs and seven aces. Ellie Fisher had 20 kills and 12 digs, while Gabby McGinn added 14 digs, 12 kills and two aces.
In the Inter-Ac League:
Notre Dame 3, Springside Chestnut Hill 0 >>The Irish dominance continues. Notre Dame (13-2 overall, 7-0 Inter-Ac) clinched a third consecutive Inter-Ac title, and fifth in six seasons, by sweeping the Blue Devils, 25-18, 25-7 and 25-14. Sara McDougall and Sam McGarvey combined for 11 kills to pace the offense, McDougall chipping in five aces. Gracie Guerin added six blocks on the defensive side.
In the Catholic Academies League:
Sacred Heart 3, St. Basil 1 >> Jaycee Webster had herself a night and then some. She set a single-match school record with 33 kills in the victory, pushing her program-record career total to more than 1,000. Webster added seven assists and 15 digs for good measure in a competitive contest with game scores of 25-17, 23-25, 25-17 and 25-22. Hannah Martinson contributed 37 assists for Sacred Heart (13-9).
In the Ches-Mont League:
Unionville 3, Sun Valley 2 >> Christine Genter pounded 15 kills and Hannah Vickers added 12 kills and 10 digs in a 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 16-25, 15-7 loss for the Vanguards. Liv Nickerson chipped in eight kills and 23 digs, while Rachel DeCarlo racked up 16 digs for SV (16-5).
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