Perkiomen Valley earns first state berth in program history

GRATERFORD >> Perkiomen Valley’s historic girls volleyball season took another leap forward as the Vikings qualified for the PIAA Class AAA Championships for the first time in school history.

Perkiomen Valley swept past visiting Central Bucks East, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round to advanced to Thursday night’s semifinals as well as the accompanying state playoff berth that goes along with that advancement.

The individual scores by game were 25-15, 25-17, 25-13.

The Vikings (19-1), who are the fourth seed in the tournament as well as the Pioneer Athletic Conference co-champions, will play Bishop Shanahan at 7:30 p.m. at Upper Dublin High School.

“This is the first time we ever qualified for states in the history of the school,” said Perkiomen Valley head coach Drew Scheeler. “In the beginning of the year, that was one of our goals. So to reach one of our goals, it’s exciting tonight. This was about as well as we have played. We did everything with our passing, our serving, our offense. It was as great a game of volleyball as we played all year.”

Cayla Veverka totaled 13 kills and nine digs for the Vikings against the Patriots from the Suburban One League Continental Division. Caitlin Corcoran finished with six kills and four blocks. Ellie Min had 63 assists and two aces. Helena Clauhs ended up with six kills and two aces. Emily Oltman had eight kills and two blocks.

Fifth-seeded Central Bucks East saw its season come to a close with an overall mark of 20-3.

Perk Valley's Caitlin Corcoran blast the ball pass Central Buck East's Jennifer Krzeminski. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)
Perkiomen Valley’s Caitlin Corcoran blasts the ball past Central Buck East’s Jennifer Krzeminski. (Barry Taglieber – For The Mercury)

“We had a great, amazing game,” said Veverka. “This was our best game so far. Each game we keep getting better and better. We made it to states for the first time.”

The senior is confident that the Vikings’ season won’t end anytime soon as long as they stick to their game.

No matter who we play, if we play our game, we will give them their money’s worth. We will keep moving on. We have been working on little things at practice, details about the game. It makes the hitters’ lives so much easier. Since the beginning of the year, we have been gelling. It’s great.”

Perkiomen Valley completed an undefeated run through the home portion of its schedule. And for the seniors making their final go-around in the program, this was especially gratifying.

“This  is a huge accomplishment all-around for everyone,” said Veverka.

In the first game, the two schools were tied at two-all before the Vikings started clicking and moved out to a 10-4 lead that led to a C.B. East timeout. The Vikings stretched that margin to 15-6 prior to another Patriot timeout and then 17-7 on a service point by Emilia Leyes.

Veverka had five kills in the opening game, and Oltman had three kills, a block and four service points.

“We were very loose,” said Oltman. “We were ready. We wanted this more than anything. It was the last home game for the seniors. We wanted to play our hearts out, and that’s what we did.”

Oltman said the Vikings were aware that the Patriots were a quality team as the fifth seed with strong middle hitters. So that is what they worked on during practice leading up to Tuesday.

Central Bucks East coach Scott Geller was proud of his players for an outstanding season despite the setback.

“This was not the way we wanted to finish the season, but I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” said Geller. “It is sad to go out this way for our seven seniors. But if we had to lose, I hope Perkiomen Valley  goes a long way.”

Geller said the Patriots had scouting reports on Veverka and Corcoran, in particular. But dealing with them in a game situation was even more difficult than any preparation Central Bucks East could have done.

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