EBENSBURG - In the first round of the PIAA Class A volleyball playoffs, Bishop Carroll jumped out to a 10-1 lead in set one.
However, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart came storming back, and cut the Lady Huskies' lead to five points three different times. Bishop Carroll responded to the challenge, though, and was able to finish off the Chargers, 25-17, in set one.
The Lady Huskies dominated sets two and three, using a combination of strong serving and dominating net play to close out a three-set sweep, 25-17, 25-10, 25-10 that advanced Bishop Carroll into the second round of the state playoffs against Elk County Catholic, a five-set winner over Bishop Canevin, on Saturday.
"I thought we were a little nervous, but I think the girls stayed focus and composed even through a little bit of first round state nerves," said Bishop Carroll coach Joe Skura. "Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is a great team. They have had a great year, and they have a great program, so to be able to do what we did, I feel good about how the girls played."
The Chargers made a run after the Lady Huskies early spurt in set one, cutting the Bishop Carroll lead to 15-10 after the Lady Huskies hit the ball into the net. Two kills by Hayley Holsberger and two service aces by Allyson Przybys seemed to get Bishop Carroll back on track, pushing its lead to 19-11.
However, the Chargers mounted another comeback, and cut the lead to 19-14, causing Skura to call timeout. The Huskies finished the first set on a 6-3 run to earn the 25-17 victory.
The Lady Huskies used their strong service game to take the second set 25-10. Janelle Gueguen rattled off five service points, and Przybys served up four consecutive points to give the Lady Huskies a 17-6 lead.
Another service spurt - four points by Nicole Woomer, closed out the set. A Sarah Gomish kill put the exclamation point on the 25-10 set win.
"We talked about being able to stop them with our serve," Skura said. "I think serving strong really allowed everything else we did to happen. Being able to serve strong, I think we stopped them on serve receive on their side which kept them from running their offense. They couldn't feed No. 11 [Lexie Yoho], their other middle hitter, and their outside hitter, which helped us all around."
The Lady Huskies put it all together in set three. They had service runs of five points from Rachel Kwisnek and three points by Ellie Yahner as Bishop Carroll jumped out to a 14-4 lead.
In addition to their strong serving, the Lady Huskies dominated the net in the third set. Holsberger had three kills and Gomish had six of her match-leading 19 kills in the third set. Just as she did in the second set, Gomish closed out the match with a kill to secure the 25-10 victory for a straight set win.
OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART: Mathews 4, Yoho 4, Sciulli 2, Taylor 2, Alexander 1, Hewitt 1.
BISHOP CARROLL: Woomer 16, Yahner 10, Kwisnek 9, Przybys 9, Gueguen 7, Gomish 4.
OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART: Yoho 11, Sciulli 3, Alexander 2, Mathews 1, Porter 1.
BISHOP CARROLL: Gomish 19, Holsberger 12, Yahner 6.