The evening didn't really start off as the Bishop Carroll Lady Huskies volleyball team would have liked.
But it ended perfectly.
After just edging out West Branch, 25-20, in a first set that anyone could have won, the Lady Huskies turned up the heat and swept their District 6 Class A semifinal match against the Lady Warriors, 3-0, on Thursday night at Bishop Guilfoyle's Pleasant Valley Gymnasium.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Bishop Carroll’s Sarah Gomish spikes the ball as West Branch’s Kaylin English defends at Bishop Guilfoyle’s Pleasant Valley Gymnasium.
"We started out tentatively, which has been my fear most of the season," Bishop Carroll coach Joe Skura said. "But I thought we maintained our composure after that rough first set. We talked to them after the first set and told them they're much better than the way they had been playing. They pulled it together in the second."
Did they ever.
The Lady Huskies dominated the second set from the word go. After West Branch opened up the set with a point, the Lady Huskies scored seven straight points. The Lady Warriors responded with one of their own but Bishop Carroll scored three more unanswered points before West Branch scored again.
The second set ended with the Lady Huskies prevailing by a score of 25-12.
Skura joked after the match about the way his squad responded.
"It was a result of our first set slop," Skura said.
Carroll also dominated the third set but just slightly less so. The match ended with a 10-point difference, winning by a 25-15 count.
West Branch coach Terry Trude praised Bishop Carroll.
"They played great," Trude said. "They played great defensively. I thought we were playing defense and they were playing offense all night. And that was the key."
Bishop Carroll's senior Sarah Gomish is one of the premier players in the state. She was outstanding against the Warriors, finishing with nine service points and 21 kills.
"Sarah reached 1,000 last season, and earned all-state last year," Skura said. "Some college coaches say she's one of the best players they've ever seen. She's dynamic."
The Lady Huskies, who improved to 19-1, will play Laurel Highlands Conference rival Bishop Guilfoyle in the district championship game Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Skura would like nothing better than to win the first District 6 Class A championship in girls volleyball at Bishop Carroll.
"It's only the second time we've ever played in a district championship game, with last year being the first," Skura said. "Our goal all year was to win a championship. No matter who we play, it will be a great match."
BISHOP CARROLL: Woomer 14, Kwisnek 3, Erter 2, Yahner 19,Pryzbys 9, Gomish 9.
WEST BRANCH: Rackish 6.
BISHOP CARROLL: Peruso 7.
WEST BRANCH: Myers 7, English 5, Redmond 4.
BISHOP CARROLL: Yahner 10, Gomish 21, Holsberger 5.
WEST BRANCH: Trude 19.
BISHOP CARROLL: Gueguen 33.