What is the Bishop Carroll girls volleyball team like?
Cochranton head coach Marci Malliard doesn’t know.
“No, haven’t seen them at all,” she said.
Does it matter? At this point, not really. The most important feature of the Bishop Carroll Huskies is well known by everybody, and that’s the fact that they are in the state semifinals. That’s very telling.
“Oh yeah, they’re good enough to be here, so, yes, they’re going to be good,” Malliard said.
The same can easily be said about Malliard’s Cardinals as well. They are still alive and, yes, they are very good. And today at 7 p.m. they will be putting it all on the line against Bishop Carroll in a PIAA Class A semifinal match at DuBois High School.
Bishop Carroll, the District 6 champion, advanced with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-17 victory over District 9 runner-up Elk County Catholic this past Saturday.
The Huskies were led by a pair of strong senior middle hitters in Sarah Gomish and Hayley Holsberger who recorded 17 kills apiece.
The Huskies enter with a record of 22-1, their lone loss coming in five games against another state semifinalist, Bishop Guilfoyle. Bishop Carroll was bumped up to No. 1 in the latest rankings by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.
Cochranton’s status in the PVCA poll has also improved. The Cardinals (18-0) are now No. 2 (up from fourth) in the Class A rankings. They earned that position after knocking off the former No. 2 Clarion in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
Clarion was the defending state champion of Class A. Cochranton ended the team’s repeat bid with an occasionally-dominant 25-11, 24-26, 25-8, 25-23 win over the Bobcats.
The Bobcats did provide Cochranton with a nice tussle in games 2 and 4. Cochranton let Clarion off the hook in Game 2, failing to finish even though the Cards led 24-21.
However, the Cardinals responded in Game 3 by opening up with a commanding 13-0 lead.
Clarion also had leads over Cochranton in Game 4. But the Cardinals displayed some of their trademark mental toughness to battle back and finish off the match.
About that team toughness, Malliard said, “We’re getting better at that every match. Every time we’ve been tested we are handling it the right way and just becoming tough. Some of them are like that anyway, and others have gotten better at that.”
Just as it’s known that you’ve got to be good to make the state semifinals, it’s also know that your team is in for a challenge once it’s there.
So far, though, Cochranton has showed that it can handle a challenge.
“We’ve actually put ourselves in that spot more than I care too,” Malliard said. “But it’s been working to our advantage. They have gotten tough when it gets to that.”
And while Cochranton will have quite a road trip to DuBois, Malliard still expects the Cochranton faithful to be in force.
“They are actually taking a fan bus,” said Malliard. “We’ve had a great following and that really helps the girls to know that the community is supporting them.”
What is the Bishop Carroll girls volleyball team like?
Breese closes career with second straight title
Breese finished with an undefeated season record of 35-0, with win No. 35 being the sweetest one of all.
The Lakeview senior stared into the face of the pressure that comes with defending a title, and made the Giant Center in Hershey feel like home. Undeniable talent and an incredible determination are the hallmarks of Breese’s approach to wrestling, and for the second straight year, he can call himself a champion.
McLane’s Wheeling comes up short in final
On a night when six wrestlers repeated as PIAA Class AAA champions, Chance Marsteller and Thomas Haines stole the show.
Marsteller, of Kennard-Dale, and Haines, of Solanco, became the 11th and 12th four-time gold-medal winners in Pennsylvania history. Marsteller (166-0) also is the first four-time champion to complete his career without a loss since Cary Kolat (1989-92) and the fourth overall.
Serra outlasts Cardinals
For the second time in as many days a basketball team from Cochranton High School played a private school from the WPIAL, put forth a valiant fight, but ultimately had its heart broken.
On Friday, it was the Cochranton boys team, which fell to Vincentian Academy 95-85.
Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals
A busy and entertaining Day 2 of wrestling at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey came and went, as did the dreams of a gold medal for a handful of local wrestlers.
The one local wrestler that doesn’t apply to is Lakeview’s Sam Breese, who had the Giant Center crowd in aw during his two matches Friday. The two bouts equated to two wins, which means a shot a defending his championship.
Lee, Wheeling survive Day 2 in Hershey
Ehrin Lee’s smile following his quarterfinal win Friday at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships told the whole story.
Lee has had his eyes on the state championships all season long, and just getting there wasn’t enough. The Titusville 160-pounder has wrestled like one of the best grapplers in the state during the tournament thus far, and his 3-2 overtime win over Northampton’s Bobby Fehr proved that if nothing else, he’s one of the four best wrestlers in his weight class.
Cards can’t slow Vincentian
The starters on the Cochranton boys basketball team probably slept like logs on Friday night.
They left every ounce on the hardwood of Meadville High School’s House of Thrills, going up against the high-intensity attack of Vincentian Academy in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
McLane rolls past Neshannock
Sarah Jay has made a habit of presenting her players with in depth scouting reports prior to each and every game.
But the report she handed them on Neshannock, the Lady Lancers’ first round opponent in the PIAA Class AA playoffs, was nothing like they had seen before.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
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