Titusville couldn’t possibly have picked a better way to enter the PIAA Class AA state girls volleyball championships.

After all, what’s serves as a better momentum builder than knocking off the top ranked Class AA team in the state just two nights prior? Nothing, right?

“Exactly,” Titusville coach Debbie Carr said.

The Lady Rockets enter today’s quarterfinal round of pool play fresh off a 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 win over Hopewell, the defending Class AA state champion. The Vikings went into the regional match ranked fourth in the state among all classifications. Titusville was 20th.

“When you’re put in a situation where you are playing the fourth ranked team in the (Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association), you have to go down ready to play,” Carr said. “We knew a little bit about their hitters and thought we were the better team. Sometimes you have to go in with that mentality. I thought we came out very confident.”

And with that, the Rockets earned a spot in the state quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. Last year’s run came to an end in the semifinals to none other than Hopewell.

That experience will be vital.

“We were looking at who was in our pool and in the last two years those teams have never been to states,” Carr said. “We’ve been there, done that. Experience can really play a huge factor.”

The Rockets join a pool consisting of District 7’s third seed South Park, District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic and District 3 runner-up Delone Catholic.

Carr has seen little of either of the three teams. Of what she has seen, however, Delone Catholic appears to be the Rockets’ toughest opponent.

“It’s hard to tell,” Carr said. “I did get a scouting report on South Park. But from the way it looks Delone Catholic looks like the toughest. They took out Westmont Hilltop (in regionals), who took out Huntingdon (at the District 6 championships).

“We just have to step up and play. Your one of the top eight teams in the state. Nobody is going to be easy. We’re looking forward to the opportunity.”

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