Berks Catholic sweeps Governor Mifflin 3-0 to claim Berks title

WYOMISSING>> A pair of undefeated squads met for the Berks League volleyball championship Tuesday night at Wyomissing, so the last thing most spectators presumably thought they’d see would be a three-set sweep.

But that’s what happened. Section 2 champions Berks Catholic defeated Governor Mifflin, the Section 1 champs, 3-0 to win the county title. The Saints (16-0) won their second league crown in three seasons by scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-22 to beat the Mustangs (17-1).

Devon Merritt’s block at the net on championship point, with her Saints holding a two-point edge in a tense third set, delivered the trophy.

“I wasn’t sure that ball would hit the floor because (Mifflin) is a really scrappy team,” Merritt said. “We’re really excited. We worked all year for this championship, so it was nice work as a team to ge this.”

Merritt’s 26 kills and seven blocks paced the Saints. Teammate Olivia Blankenbiller had 38 assists and nine digs.  Lexi Leddy added 20 digs.

“I thought we played really well at the net,” Merritt said. “We made more (hitting) errors than we normally do, but we made up for it with our defense.”

Berks Catholic unexpectedly jumped out to 17-5 lead during the first set, a sizzling start that sent a ripple of toning confidence throughout head coach Rick Fidler’s crew.

“Yeah, those things happen,” Fidler said. “The game didn’t have any flow and everything was going our way. But then Mifflin settled down and closed it to 10 by the end.

“They (Mifflin) were more determined, not tentative, toward the end.”

The key stretch for Catholic occurred late in the second set, trailing 23-21, with the Mustangs two points from evening the match. The Saints managed to win four straight points, to swing it to a 2-0 set lead, and pull the match solidly to their side of the court.

“We gave them opportunities to stay in that game,” Mifflin coach Josh Radmuanski said. “Our serve receive was inconsistent. When we got that on target, we were perfectly fine. But we gave them the opportunity to play defense and stay in those points.”

Catholic erased a three-point Mifflin lead late during the third set to forge ahead 22-20 and didn’t relinquish it.

“This team has been resilient all year,” Fidler said. “They just have a way of hanging in there.”

Mifflin’s largest set lead at any point during the three-set match happened in the midst of the second set, at 14-9. But Catholic battled back to win nine of the next 12 points. The Mustangs never led during the first set.

“This is motivation that we’re not to the top of the mountain yet,” Radmuanski said, referencing the upcoming postseason. “We still have a long season to go, through districts, and we’re still looking to be the first team ever from Mifflin to qualify for states. We’re not gonna back down or shy away.”

Gabby Johnson had 17 digs and nine kills for the Mustangs. Marley Reedy chipped in with eight digs and seven kills. Julia Barbon had 16 digs.


Berks League championship match

at Wyomissing

Governor Mifflin – 15  23  22 — 0

Berks Catholic –  25  25  25 — 3







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