Lansdale Catholic stays perfect in PCL, sweeps Cardinal O’Hara in league semis

ASTON — Lansdale Catholic’s big middles were dominant and its back row played at a level beyond their years, as the Crusaders continued their perfect run through the Philadelphia Catholic League with a 3-0 sweep of Cardinal O’Hara Thursday night in the PCL Semifinals at Neumann University.

Captain Chase Wassel led the Crusaders in kills with 16, she hustled for 17 digs, and emblematic of her strong defensive play, she added eight blocks to help push LC into Sunday’s PCL final against Archbishop Wood.

“I’m really excited about the way we played tonight,’ Wassel said.

The Crusaders battled to a 25-21 win in Game One and then fell behind 5-1 in Game Two. But their confidence never wavered.

“We talked about just trusting what we’re capable of,’ said LC coach Joann Pisch, whose team went a perfect 11-0 in the PCL during the regular season. “We tried to get across that there’s going to be momentum shifts, and trust what we’re capable of and put points together.’

The Crusaders pushed ahead 6-5 in Game Two and controlled things from there. LC took Game Two 25-17 and cruised in Game Three, winning 25-15 to finish things off.

Asked what allowed the Crusaders to pull away, jack of all trades Kaitlyn Kushman replied “Energy. We came out and we were ready to win. We just stuck with it.’

Kushman, headed to Division I Central Connecticut State next year, showed why she was named the PCL’s Most Valuable Player. She had 11 kills, dished out 20 assists, and then added seven digs to keep LC comfortably in front.

Also key was the play of Ego Onu, who had 11 kills of her own, and youngsters Devin Taylor and Caitlin Maskornick, who kept feeding the ball into LC’s middles all evening long and allowed them to take over the match.

LC now aims to duplicate its regular-season win over Wood and lock up the PCL crown.

“We want to go out with the same intensity and play our hearts out,’ Kushman said.

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