Sacred Heart gets its desired finals date with Christopher Dock

UPPER DUBLIN — The Country Day School of the Sacred Heart took care of business Tuesday night. Now, it is on to a more personal matter.

The top-seeded Lions had no trouble with No. 4 Calvary Baptist in the sides’ District One Class A semifinal at Upper Dublin High School, winning their postseason opener 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-10).

Sacred Heart now gets its chance to reclaim the district crown against the team that took it last year — Christopher Dock — in a 6 p.m. matchup Thursday at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

“We’ve been excited all season. We played them in (the) normal season and we won. So, we’re really excited,’ Lions senior Kellilynn Murray said. “We’re coming back, we want to win. We have the heart.’

Second-seeded Dock advanced with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-23) win over its Bicentennial Athletic League rival, No. 3 Faith Christian, in the earlier semifinal match at Upper Dublin.

“Not to get there on Thursday would have been not acceptable,’ Sacred Heart coach Michelle Gatta said. “Not for just me but for them. So that’s why they knew to just come out and give it their all.’

It is the third straight season Dock and Sacred Heart have played for the district title. The Lions beat the Pioneers in four games in 2012 but were denied a fourth straight championship in a five-game loss last year. Sacred Heart rallied from two games down only for Dock to pull out a 15-11 victory in the fifth game.

“It was a really big heartbreak last year. We thought we were going to pull through,’ Murray said. “As soon as we lost, we were ready for this year.’

Dock and Sacred Heart played earlier this season on Sept. 9 with the Lions picked up a 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-21) win.

“As much as people thought we’d want to play a different team, we want to play them,’ Murray said.

Calvary Baptist, meanwhile, was trying to advance to its first district final since 2011.

“We played them in the beginning of the season and it was closer. So, we were hoping to get closer in these two games,’ Warriors coach Elissa Murray said. “I think it’s just coming off our regular-season tournament and having all these practices. But I think that the girls, I think that they overall played well towards the ends of the games and finished well. I think that’s what’s important to me.’

Tuesday was Sacred Heart’s first match since a 3-0 Catholic Academies loss to Gwynedd Mercy Oct. 9, but the Lions showed little rust — jumping out to a 19-9 lead in Game 1, than charging to a 20-5 advantage in Game 2.

“The girls, they came out, they knew this was important,’ Gatta said. “I always just tell them that they can’t play down, they always have to play up no matter what kind of competition that they’re playing. They finally started to do so midway through Game 1.

“We haven’t played in two weeks, so this was our first game, so I knew it was going to come out a little bit slow.’

Calvary Baptist collected the first four points of Game 3, but Sacred Heart answered with 10 straight. The Lions closed out the match with a 9-1 run to take the game 25-10.

“At the end, I’m proud of them,’ Murray said. “They’ve come a long way in their season and they’re really young. So, we only have one senior, so hopefully we’ll be able to build the team next year.’

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