Guilfoyle boys advance by eliminating Obama
PITTSBURGH – Bishop Guilfoyle’s first trip to the boys volleyball state playoffs was a success.
The Marauders cruised past host Obama Academy, 25-15, 25-6, 25-15, Thursday night in a PIAA Class AA preliminary-round battle.
Now, the squad wants to keep its postseason run going.
“We never won a district championship before, so that was great. Coming in here and sweeping a pretty good team is pretty humbling,” junior outside hitter Damon Rickens said. “We want to make a deep run in states. Everyone is doing really well for us, so we’re happy about that.”
BG (15-4) moves on to face Derry, the District 7 runner-up, in a PIAA first-round matchup Wednesday at a time and site to be determined.
“This is really exciting. We’re playing teams we’ve never played before, going out of our district and travelling. It’s really exciting. We’re looking forward to the opportunity,” junior outside hitter Jamey Brumbaugh said. “We definitely want to go as far as we can. We’re pushing to win a state title, and we’re going to play our hardest.”
The Marauders, who don’t have a senior on their roster, looked like a veteran squad against the Eagles (12-8).
“A lot of things were new for us. We came here on a two-hour bus ride; we didn’t know a whole lot about Obama Academy and we didn’t know the gym. We had to adapt on the fly. I thought we showed a lot of maturity there being able to handle a little bit of a tough situation,” BG coach Bob Kasun said. “I was very happy with how we played. We always stress the team. That was a team effort tonight. Everybody did well. You saw the all-around solid play of Jamey Brumbaugh and a freshman, Collin Welteroth, establishing himself in the middle. You saw Nick Little doing what he does and Ben [Kasun] and Damon [Rickens] doing what they do. We’re at our strongest when we have a lot of kids contributing.”
BG, which trailed only once on the night, took charge, 10-5, early in the first game, but Obama Academy rallied to trim the deficit to 11-9. Welteroth served for the next three points, which fueled the Marauders to the 25-15 victory.
In the second game, BG jumped to a 10-4 advantage. Brennan Hurd gave the team a boost when he served for 12 consecutive points in the 25-6 triumph.
“Brennan Hurd has come in for us and done a great job serving,” Kasun said. “He is one of our hardest workers. You could see how he changed the playoff game with the way he changed the tempo of the match.”
The Marauders didn’t allow the Eagles to go on any long runs like the one Hurd sparked for BG.
“Whenever you’re playing a team, you want to limit the runs to one or two points,” Kasun said. “When you get those six-point runs, that really affects a team. We saw that when Brennan Hurd was serving.”
Obama Academy grabbed its first lead, 1-0, to start the third game. However, the Marauders went on an 11-4 run. The Eagles trimmed the deficit 12-10, but BG pulled away for the triumph.
“Since we were in such an unfamiliar area, we just wanted to stick together and play within ourselves,” Rickens said. “We didn’t let them do anything, really.”
Ben Kasun finished with 27 assists, 10 points, six kills and four blocks for the Marauders. Brumbaugh had seven kills, five digs and three points. Rickens added six kills, six digs and four points. Little had nine kills, four blocks and three points. Hurd led the team with 14 points, while Brendan Trybus had six digs. Welteroth finished with eight points and Sam Keating had four.
“We definitely took care of business. That’s been the key all year – we’ve had so many contributors, not just one or two guys,” Brumbaugh said. “Really, we’re a full team. I like to think that’s because we have no seniors and we all really have to step up. It’s a really good learning process and teaches us all to be leaders on the team.”
BISHOP GUILFOYLE: Hurd 14, Kasun 10, Welteroth 8, Keating 4, Rickens 4, Brumbaugh 3, Little 3.
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (15-4); Obama Academy (12-8).