MORRISDALE - For the second time in four years the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic volleyball team is headed to the District 6 championship game.
But it wasn't an easy path for the Lady Marauders.
Bishop Guilfoyle had to knock off second-seeded Bishop Carroll in five sets on Thursday evening at West Branch High School.
The Lady Marauders won by scores of 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 16-25 and 15-13.
"It's a great rivalry match between us and Bishop Carroll," BG coach Bob Kasun said. "I don't think anybody would expect anything less than what they saw tonight. There were two very talented teams going head-to-head and produced a fantastic District 6 semifinal.
"Our kids played fantastic. That's a great team that we beat. It took everything we had to win."
Bishop Carroll, which defeated Bishop Guilfoyle for the Laurel Highlands Conference title, struck first, winning the first game, 25-22.
The next game showed the skills of both teams, as Bishop Guilfoyle eked out a 26-24 victory.
The Lady Marauders kept up the pressure in the third game, defeating the Lady Huskies, 25-20.
But, Bishop Carroll turned right around and defeated Bishop Guilfoyle, 25-16, to send the match to a decisive fifth set.
"My girls deserved to get here," Lady Huskies coach Joe Skura said. "They did everything they could to get here. This Bishop Carroll team has done something no other Bishop Carroll team has ever done. And, for them to go five sets in a district semifinal match, when five years ago they were 2-18 I can't ask for anything more. I'm so proud of them. They fought so hard."
The Lady Marauders won the toss and pulled out to a 3-0 lead behind the serve of Annie Dombroski. Jess Welteroth had a kill during the run.
The Lady Huskies closed to within 3-2 after a sideout, but another kill from Welteroth turned the ball back over to BG.
After trading points back and forth, Bishop Guilfoyle pulled out to a 14-10 advantage behind the serve of Alyssa Luther.
Bishop Carroll got a sideout on a kill from Sunny Settle. Settle then served up two point to get her team within 14-13.
But a kill from Welteroth gave Bishop Guilfoyle the point it need to claim the set and match victory.
"Jess Welteroth is a special talent," said Kasun. "She is a returning District 6 first team all-star. We moved her to the middle this year because we wanted to take advantage of her athletic ability and blocking. She's a special player and she is definitely one of our go-to players."
Welteroth finished the night with 23 kills, 18 digs and five service points. Luther added 43 assists and 12 service points, while Dombrowski added 14 kills and 13 service points.
Logan McIntosh had 21 digs and eight service points, while Brynee Baughman had six service points and Rachel Potopa had three.
The Lady Huskies were led by 22 kills, nine service points and two blocks from Sarah Gomish. Dani Link added 19 kills, 11 service points and two blocks, while Settle had 11 service points and 34 assists. Nicole Woomer had eight service points, while Cassidy Platt had seven. Allyson Pryzybys had four service points.
Bishop Carroll finished the season at 18-4.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match," Skura said. "I knew it was going to come down to aggressive offense and smart defense. We fell a little short, but I can not be prouder of this team. I couldn't be happier for Bob and his girls. They are an amazing team and they deserve it."
Bishop Guilfoyle improved to 18-4. The Lady Marauders face top-seeded West Branch on Saturday at 3 p.m. for the District 6 Class A title. The Lady Warriors have knocked BG out of the playoffs the last two years.
BISHOP CARROLL: Woomer 8, Link 13, Settle 12, Przybys 5, Gomish 7, Platt 9, Sunny Settle had 52 assist. Sarah Gomish 32 kills Dani Link 29 kills Rachel Kwisnek 9 digs
Team records: Bishop Carroll (18-4)
West Branch 3, Northern Cambria 2
MORRISDALE - Northern Cambria took top-seeded West Branch to the brink on Thursday evening in the other District 6 Class A semifinal, pushing the Lady Warriors to a fifth set for the first time all year.
West Branch had lost just one set all season, and the Lady Colts made a statement with their 25-12 win in the first set.
But the Lady Warriors responded with a 25-12 victory over their own in the second set. West Branch won the third set, 25-14. Northern Cambria evened the match with an epic 32-30 victory in game 4 before the Lady Warriors finished off the game with a 15-4 win.
"We've played each other several times in the playoffs and I think we have probably beaten them four or five times," Lady Colts coach Mike Hogan said. "They finally broke through. [West Branch coach] Terry [Trude] does a good job with them. They played their hearts out and came out on top. They put a little bit too much ball pressure on us. It had us on our heels a little bit and we couldn't play our game.
Megan Rescinito had 11 service points, while Elizabeth Wolfe had nine service points and Reba Yahner had eight.
Wolfe and Becky Britton had eight kills, while Yahner had four.
Northern Cambria finished the season at 15-5.
"I'm proud of the way my kids fought back in game 4," said Hogan. "Everybody in the gym thought that game was over, and it showed a lot of class for us to come back. I just think they had a little bit too much for us tonight."
West Branch improved to 29-0.