Carroll sweeps its way into next round
Special to the Mirror
WINDBER — Bishop Carroll had little time to dwell after falling in five sets to Northern Cambria in the District 6 Class 1A title game on Saturday. Just three days later, the Lady Huskies didn’t lack motivation as they faced the same team who ended their season in a sweep last year in District 5 champ Berlin Brothersvalley.
A very determined Bishop Carroll team was up to the task as they combined a potent and distributed offense to go with an intense defensive performance. The District 6 runners-up swept Berlin by a 25-20, 25-11, 25-21 score at Windber Area High School to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.
“I think we all just came back with a good mentality. We wanted to come and play our best. I think we did tonight,” said Bishop Carroll junior Kate Yahner, who led the team with 19 kills and a match-high 26 digs. “I think the whole team worked together really well tonight.”
Bishop Carroll will play District 3 champ Covenant Christian on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
“We did well in serve receive, our defense was aggressive, and we swung. That’s what we needed to do to win,” Bishop Carroll coach Katie Wyland said. “I can’t ask for anything more of my girls, they did awesome tonight.”
Berlin had its 15-game winning streak snapped. The Mountaineers had a hard time solving Bishop Carroll’s superb blocking.
“We knew coming in that they were a very good blocking team. We had seen a good bit of film on them and knew that we had to do a pretty good job of working the ball around the block,” Berlin coach Corey Will said. “Their defense was spot on tonight. They did a great job of basically picking up everything that we threw at them.”
Although Berlin sophomore standout Kiera Booth recorded a match-high 23 kills, including her 1,000th career kill, Bishop Carroll prevented the Mountaineers from really finding their usual offensive rhythm.
“I warned them before the game if they let a few more balls drop, they were coming out,” Wyland joked. “They stayed right on their toes, they were moving their feet and they played awesome defense. Everything was picked up.”
The first set featured 12 ties as the biggest lead was three points. After a tie at 19-all, Bishop Carroll tallied four straight points with Mara Yahner serving. Kate Yahner capped the set with back-to-back kills to give BC a 25-20 victory.
Bishop Carroll took control with a 7-0 run in the second set with Maddie Murphy serving. Setter Kayla Repko sparked a 9-0 outburst at the service line to go up 24-10. A Kate Yahner kill gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
The third set featured eight more ties. Berlin looked determined to extend the match as they led midway through. However, five straight points with Anna Haigh serving gave BC a 20-17 lead. Berlin trimmed the advantage down to 22-21, but Kate Yahner recorded the final three kills in succession.
Four Huskies finished with at least five kills. Caroline Ratchford had eight, while Haigh and Mara Yahner produced six and five, respectively.
“We used all of hitters really well tonight. I think that was a key part,” Kate Yahner said. “They didn’t know where it was coming from each time.”
Bishop Carroll was able to reverse the outcome of last year’s match against Berlin.
“I thought for most of the evening they probably played a little more aggressively than we did. My stats say they missed one serve the whole night so they kept the ball in play on us,” Will said.
BISHOP CARROLL: Repko 13, Murphy 9, Haigh 7, M. Yahner 7, K. Yahner 6, Clark 2.
BERLIN BROTHERSVALLEY: L. Dorcon 8, Hay 5, Straight 4, Booth 2, G. Dorcon 2, Pryal 1.
Records: Bishop Carroll (22-4); Berlin Brothersvalley (21-2).