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St. Basil sweeps Dock in District 1-2A semifinals

ABINGTON >> St Basil Academy swept Dock Mennonite Academy, 25-11, 25-16, 25-12, in the District 1-2A semifinals Thursday night at St. Basil Academy.

The Panthers never trailed in the match and led the entire way except for a couple points early in the second set.

“I thought we played really well,” Basil coach Jessica Lavelle said. “We had an injury on Senior Night — our 1,000-assist setter went down, so Kiera Whalen is our sophomore setter now and she did a fantastic job tonight. All the girls really rallied around her and made sure they got their last win at home.”

In the first set, No. 2 St. Basil jumped out to an 11-3 lead. They maintained a comfortable advantage until freshman Rachel Mace finished it off, 25-11, with a kill.

The teams were even at 1-1 and 2-2 in the second game before St. Basil pulled ahead. The hosts scored seven straight points to take a 14-6 lead. The third-seeded Pioneers responded with four straight points to get within six, 19-13, but that’s as close as they’d get. The Panthers closed out the set, 25-16, when Whalen surprised Dock with a soft, directional shot.

Basil took control of the third and final game from the start. The Panthers scored the first 10 points and then seven in a row to go ahead, 18-3. The set and match ended at 25-12 when a Dock serve went long.

Senior Morgan Shissler stood out for the Panthers. She used her height to block some shots and scored some points hitting the ball to empty spaces.

For Dock, junior Olivia Mercure made some highlight plays. She kept points alive that looked like they were over, including going into the bleachers a couple times.

“Us being a young team and a small team,” Dock coach Taylor McKenney said after the Pioneers season came to an end, “the girls put every effort that they had into this match and into this year. Everyone stepped up in different positions. Our seniors were great in the leadership roles they took on and proved to the girls that we could make it this far and we could’ve gone further. St. Basil was just on top today and I think overall our girls did the best they could this year and I love them for that.”

St. Basil will face the winner of No. 1 New Hope and No. 4 Collegium in the championship Tuesday at Harriton at 6 p.m.

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