Despite loss, BG positive about its future

SIDMAN — Bishop Guilfoyle volleyball coach Branden McGarvey has lots to look forward to next season. Lots of height, to be specific.

The Marauders expect junior hitter Connor Ebersole (6-foot-0), sophomore right side hitter Michael Woolridge (6-foot-8) and freshman hitter Nick Anderson (6-foot-1) to return in 2020. Now all McGarvey and the Marauders need is a cohesive unit to feed three potentially dominant players.

“Pretty much getting into the off-season (is our goal) and bettering our defense and the back row,” McGarvey said after Bishop Guilfoyle lost to West Shamokin, 3-0, in the District 6 Class 2A championship match on Tuesday night at Forest Hills High School.

The Wolves won by the scores of 29-27, 25-22, 25-14. They will play the third-seeded team from the WPIAL on Tuesday, May 28.

“They’re a good young team also,” West Shamokin coach Scott Craig said. “I give them credit. They’re a good team, and they’ll be strong next year.”

The Marauders struggled to establish momentum throughout the evening. Their biggest lead, three, came at 22-19 of the first game. The Wolves rallied, however, to secure the victory in the opener.

“They made it tough for us to get into our ‘in’ system on offense,” McGarvey said. “Any time we were starting to get something going, a missed serve would kind of derail us. And then we’d get something going again, and we’d have a missed serve.”

West Shamokin led by as many as eight points in the second game and forced McGarvey to use his two allotted timeouts at 15-9. A 5-0 run lifted the Wolves to what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.

“I think both teams were nervous in that first set,” Craig said. “But I think we got our momentum in that second.”

A 9-2 run, Bishop Guilfoyle’s most impressive of the night, made the score 23-22. Craig could tell once the third game began that the Marauders were emotionally spent.

“You could tell when they came out for the third game that their heads were down a little bit,” Craig said.

The Wolves led by 10 on seven occasions before a long return by Josh Welteroth gave West Shamokin its final point.

Bishop Guilfoyle–Kills, Ebersole 15, Welteroth 14; Assists, Kimberly, 30; Service points, Nick Anderson, 6, Welteroth, 6, Kimberly, 2, Miller, 2, Ebersole, 2, Noah Anderson, 1.

West Shamokin–Kills, Cornish, 16, Spencer, 13; Assists, Osterling, 32; Digs, Cornish, 9.