Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic and Bishop Carroll squared off for sole possession of first place in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference girls volleyball standings Monday night, and round one went to BG, 3-1.
The Lady Marauders combined a balanced offensive attack with strong defense to defeat Bishop Carroll 25-17, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19 at the Pleasant Valley gym.
"We have a lot of weapons. That's what makes us a solid team," BG coach Bob Kasun said. "Teams can't concentrate on just one player."
Seven different Lady Marauders registered kills led by sophomore outside hitter Annie Dombrowski's 16 and senior middle hitter Jess Welteroth's 14.
BG, 8-1 in LHAC play, has reeled off 10 straight wins since a season-opening loss to Somerset. The Lady Huskies fell to 7-2 in the LHAC, 9-2 overall.
The two teams play again later this month at Bishop Carroll. A meeting in the district playoffs is a possibility as well.
"Bishop Guilfoyle has a strong all-around team," BC coach Joe Skura said. "They utilize every player on both offense and defense."
Four players topped double digits in digs, and Welteroth thwarted Carroll's power game with seven blocks.
Welteroth's back-to-back blocks on Dani Link late in game one helped propel BG to a 25-17 win and set the tone for the remainder of the match.
"That was a big momentum boost for us," Welteroth said. "Dani's one of the best athletes I've ever faced on the volleyball court. It's definitely a big challenge going up against her."
Rachel Potopa had a team-high 17 digs followed by Dombrowski with 15 and Alyssa Luther with 13. Defensive specialist Logan McIntosh added 11 digs.
"Logan McIntosh is a rock solid libero, and she passes so well," Kasun said. "She does so many good things for us."
BG's momentum from game one continued into the second game. Bishop Carroll answered with a win in game three and had the lead early in the fourth and final game.
"We came back strong in the third set. This team does not give easily. They have more heart than any team I've ever coached," Skura said. "We got flat at the end, though. We started messing around with the ball too much and not executing our offense. The tip and push shots killed us."
Trailing 12-8 in the final game, BG went on a 7-0 run and held on for the victory.
"The third game we weren't as aggressive serving and that allowed Bishop Carroll to run off its offense much better," Kasun said. "Game four, we survived more than anything else. We inched ahead and held on."
Link led the Lady Huskies with 27 kills and Sarah Gomish had 17. Senior setter Sunny Settle dished out 32 assists, and Rachel Kwisnek had 30 digs.
Luther led the BG offense with 37 assists.
"She's a phenomenal setter. She puts the ball right where it needs to be," Welteroth said. "We couldn't have done it without her. It was a total team effort."
BISHOP CARROLL: Gomish 13, Platt 7, Link 4, Settle 4, Przybys 3, Woomer 1.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE: Dombrowski 12, Luther 10, Potopa 6, Welteroth 3, Baughman 2.
Team records: Bishop Carroll (7-2 LHAC, 9-2 overall); Bishop Guilfoyle (8-1 LHAC, 10-1 overall).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle 25-7, 25-13.