Corcoran able to answer challenge for Sacred Heart

UPPER DARBY — Through every point of Wednesday’s nonleague volleyball match at Bonner-Prendergast, Sacred Heart coach Michelle Gatta stalked the sideline exhorting her team to focus and finish.

One player who had no problem handling either task was Kerri Corcoran. The Lions’ 5-foot-11 junior was a beacon in the Pandas’ dimly-lit gym, dutifully patrolling the front line and soaring above the net in leading Sacred Heart to a 3-1 win.

Bonner-Prendergast coach Mary Callan summed up her squad’s game plan — attack Corcoran.

“First we hit it right at her and then we tried to hit it around her,’ Callan said, noting that the latter approach helped produce the Pandas’ lone win, 25-17, in the third game.

“But (Corcoran) was spectacular,’ the coach continued. “She is a difference maker.’

When Corcoran was on the court, the Lions (8-5) rarely faltered. So it was no surprise that Corcoran delivered kills to cap a 25-15 win in game one and a 25-17 victory in game two. With Corcoran on the bench in the fourth game, Sacred Heart saw a nine-point lead slip away until ending the match with a 25-19 triumph.

“Kerri is a special talent, she is our best player,’ Gatta said. “At this point I’d say she’s at least at the Division II level, and she has another year to grow and refine her game.’

Corcoran’s brilliance was reflected on the stat sheet, as she converted 19 of 25 attacks, was in on 10 blocks (including seven solo) and served a pair of aces. But as fast as she could bury a spike into the Pandas’ zone, Corcoran was even quicker to credit her teammates and her coach.

“I’ve been playing with the other juniors, Jessica (McTaggart), Lauren (Kilroy) and Ally (Schell), for three years now,’ Corcoran said. “We’ve developed a good chemistry. Each of us knows what the others are capable of and where we’ll be on the court.’

McTaggart dished out 37 assists against the Pandas in boosting her team-leading stats to 124 assists and 21 aces. Kilroy, the setter, had 26 digs to give her 97 on the season. And fellow defensive specialist Schell, who leads the team with 144 digs, added 17 digs, six kills and three aces.

Gatta also pointed out the contributions of senior co-captains Kellilynn Murray and Ciara Burke as well as freshman Juliana Michniak, who posted 11 kills and a game-high nine blocks.

“Kellilynn and Ciara step up all the time, the girls really turn to them for their leadership,’ Gatta said. “And Juliana is my next Kerri!’

The only blemish on the otherwise impressive road win, in Gatta’s eyes, was her team’s letdown in the third game.

“We’re confident we can go far this season,’ she said, “but our biggest flaw is that after winning the first two games, the girls often think that the match is over.’

Bonner-Prendergast may not have any superstars, according to Callan, but the Pandas (5-3) do expect to make themselves known in the Catholic League with contributions from everyone on the floor.

To that end, Amber Ballinger delivered 16 kills, Veronica Kirchner posted a dozen blocks and nine kills, Megan Cummings dished out 33 assists and Jackie McCarrick burned the floor for 33 digs.

“Sacred Heart always gives us a good game,’ Callan said. “We have some big league matches coming up, so this was good preparation.’

As for the Lions, Corcoran and company have only one goal in site — a District One Class A title — which might be enough to get her second-year coach to take a seat and relax for once.

Coach Gatta “has the right attitude and energy for this team,’ Corcoran said with a giggle. “She’s right there with us through every point… and she’s always telling us we’ve got to finish!’

In a Del Val League match:Chichester 3, Chester 0: Maddie Thornton registered eight digs, five assists and four kills, Becca Civera and Melissa Ferrara combined for 10 aces and five kills, and Sam Falcone filled the stat sheet with three aces, two kills, four digs and four assists as the Eagles outlasted the Clippers, 29-27, 25-18, 25-23.

In nonleague action:Garnet Valley 3, Pennsbury 1: Elise Cummings quarterbacked the Jaguars’ attack with 31 assists while Brianna Plush delivered a dozen kills, Jenna Hostetler contributed 23 digs and five aces, and Kiley Price was a force at the net with seven kills and three blocks in a 12-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 win.Strath Haven 3, Council Rock North 0: Brianna Fisher had a dozen digs and picked up five of her 17 kills down the stretch in a 30-28 win in the first set. Rachel Vresilovic (12 kills), Casey Blum (10 kills) and Maddie Caspari (20 assists) came on strong in the Panthers’ 25-22 and 25-23 wins to complete the sweep.Penn Wood 3, Community Academy of Philadelphia 0: The Patriots captured their first win of the season, 25-12, 25-7, 25-7, thanks to 10 service points by Zahira Toro and three kills by Jasmine Roberts.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply