SOMERSET - The Somerset Area High School girls volleyball team successfully defended its District 5 Class AA title with a 3-0 sweep over Bedford on Thursday night.
The Lady Eagles (16-3), who already owned a pair of three-set victories against Bedford (6-13) in the regular season, once again made short work of their opponents in the district final by scores of 25-14, 25-9, 25-19.
"This was our third go at them, and I think we were pretty well prepared," Somerset coach Alix Rose said. "I know Bedford's record wasn't that great this year, but they came in and fought back and wouldn't give up, which was nice to see."
Jayna Coyle scored 10 kills to lead the Lady Eagles' offense. Maddy Ream made 12 digs, Molly Hoover had four blocks and Julie Barron served up four aces.
"I think what is really neat about our team is that we don't have just one girl who's a standout gun," Rose said. "If they shut one of them down, we just go to the next one. That's what has gotten us through so far this season. I don't think teams know who to block some times because no matter who we give it to, they can hit."
Mikayla Shaffer notched five kills and Lauren Fedorchak contributed five blocks to lead Bedford.
"We couldn't get any thing going in the first two sets," Bedford coach Rodney Berkey said. "We did build some momentum in the third set, but it was too little, too late.
"We had problems with our serve/receive and our first pass up to the setter. I can't take anything away from Somerset. They move extremely well to the ball. We played some good defense at times, but you have to have all aspects, especially at this level against a team like Somerset."
Somerset advances to the PIAA sub-regional round on Saturday at Elk County Catholic High School in St. Marys for the right to move on to the state tournament.
The matches start at 1 p.m. with Somerset playing the District 9 runner-up in the auxiliary gym. The District 9 champion will play the No. 1 seed out of District 8 in the main gym. The two winners will then meet in the sub-regional final.
"We're excited about it," Rose said. "Win or lose, this has been an awesome experience. We're heading up there [today] and staying over night. The girls will really enjoy it and it's one of those things you'll never forget."