Guilfoyle falls short of title match

NEW KINGSTOWN – The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic girls volleyball team sported shirts which bore the lettering “Finish the job” on the backs.

After all, the Lady Marauders had reached the PIAA Class A semifinals in 2000 and 2011 and their season ended in that round.

Bishop Guilfoyle (21-3) tried for the third time on Tuesday night at Cumberland Valley High School, but District 11 champion Marian Catholic (23-2) ended the Lady Marauders’ season in that round again with a 25-23, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22 loss to the Fillies.

“We’re happy to accomplish what we accomplished this year,” Bishop Guilfoyle head coach Bob Kasun said. “Obviously, every team has its own season, so it’s not like a jinx. It’s not like frustration or anything like that. We’re going to be as good as we can be, and all I ask is our team to work as hard as they can and play as hard as they can.”

The Lady Marauders attempted to rally after dropping the first two games to Marian and put together a dominant third game, but Bishop Guilfoyle was unable to build upon a four-point lead at 11-7 in the third game, allowing Marian to eventually pull even and to score the match’s final three points.

Kasun said, “In games one, two and four, they won the serve receive battle. It seemed like we were running our offense out of system and they were in system. In game three, we turned it around and you saw the result.”

By then, the Lady Marauders were rightly desperate. Bishop Guilfoyle committed 18 serving and hitting errors in the opening game and yet managed to tie the game nine times. However, Stankiewitch sent O’Donnell’s pass sharply through the middle of the Lady Marauder defense for the lead and the teams exchanged errant serves for the 25-23 win.

The second game featured three ties, but O’Donnell served an ace off Bishop Guilfoyle’s Sophia Griffin for an 8-7 lead which Marian never lost.

But that stopped quickly in the third set, which BG led the entire way after breaking a 2-2 tie with Bridgette O’Leary’s kill.

However, in the end, Marian’s 5-foot-11 middle blocker, Abby Stankiewitch, was the one player for whom Bishop Guilfoyle had few answers. She finished with 14 kills and three blocks.

Marian head coach John Fallabel said, “They didn’t block her. They have small middles. We out-sized them. Then they started to double-block her and they took a little bit away from her. With their scheme against her, they couldn’t block her. She was above them.”

Yet Stankiewitch and the Fillies were not invulnerable. Afterward, several Fillies roundly praised the BG, whose season ended at 21-3.

“We had to pick the intensity back up. We lost in that third game a little bit,” Marian junior setter Abby O’Donnell said about the Fillies’ loss. “We knew we didn’t want to go to a fifth game against them because they were going to come hard, so we just had to play all of our cards that fourth game, and we did.”

Still, BG, battling for its postseason life, took a 3-0 lead in that game and stayed with the Fillies through most of it. Trailing 20-19, Marian took advantage of a hitting error to tie the match and got back-to-back kills from sophomore Maureen Kloap, who finished with eight kills and five digs, and Stankiewitch..

BG turned to a crosscourt spike by Annie Dombrowski, who finished with a match-best 17 kills and 16 digs, to tie the game at 22-22, but the Lady Marauders then committed a setting mistake and a shot into the net to set up Stankiewitch’s clinching point, a block of Dombrowski’s shot to the court.

“I think we gave a great effort tonight, but I think Marian Catholic did too,” Kasun said. “They came through with some key points down the stretch and that was the difference. They’re a very good team.”

For BG, Lindsie Welteroth had 13 kills and 21 digs. Brynee Baughman had 40 assists and Logan McIntosh added 17 digs.