CLARION, Pa. – Clarion started its defense of the PIAA Class 1A title in convincing fashion with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-10, 25-10) sweep of visiting California in the opening round of the 2021 PIAA 1A playoffs Tuesday night.
Rewatch the match
The Lady Cats, the District 9 champion, trailed just once in the three sets (2-1 in the third set) while only being tied four times (1-1 and 2-2 in both the first and third sets) in rolling past the Trojans, who finished third in the WPIAL.
“I just want to celebrate how great these kids are,” Clarion head coach Shari Campbell said. “We’ve got some really athletic kids who have worked really hard. They deserve to enjoy this, and we are going to go after it.”
Clarion spread the offense around with five different players recording at least one kills, including three with at least eight kills.
“It is great to see the diversity of our team,” senior setter Noel Anthony, who had 36 set assists said. “I love using everyone.”
Korrin Burns led the offensive charge for the Lady Cats with 15 kills, while Aryana Girvan added 13 kills while hitting .600. Payton Simko chipped in eight kills and hit .583, as she continued her strong play from the right side over the past three weeks.
“I am super pleased with those three hitters,” Campbell said. “And you saw our middle start to develop. Noel did a really good job of distributing, especially to our middles. That confidence will go far for our middles.”
All three sets were fairly easy for Clarion.
Tied at two in the first set following a reception error, the Lady Cats went on an 11-3 tear to take a commanding 13-5 lead.
Girvan led the way during the run with three kills, while Simko had two.
In the second set, Clarion started on a 4-0 spurt that quickly turned into an 11-3 run.
Grace Ochs had two aces during the start of the run with Adia Needham adding two kills and an ace, and Burns three kills.
In the third set, after falling behind 2-1 and Clarion went on a 9-2 run that featured two kills by Simko and one each by Burns and Girvan, and a block by Taylor Alston.
While Clarion’s offense was recoding 41 kills, the Lady Cats’ defense limited California to seven kills.
Jordan Best led the way with seven digs with Ochs and Anthony each adding six digs and Burns five digs.
“We are really able to use kids in different positions, which is pretty amazing,” Campbell said. “They can play different positions in the back row. They have no fear because they are digging Korrin and Aryanna and Payton (in practice). Just to see their adaptability, it makes us very versatile.
Clarion will face WPIAL runner-up Greensburg Central Catholic in the quarterfinals Saturday at a site and time to be announced. GCC beat District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle, 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-13).
BISHOP CANEVIN 3, OSWAYO VALLEY 0
PITTSBURGH – WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin swept past visiting Oswayo Valley, the District 9 runner-up, 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15) in the Class 1A first round.
The Green Wave, making their first appearance in the PIAA playoffs, who had to make the four-plus hour trip to Bishop Canevin High School, got 13 kills and 19 digs from Jadyn Brabham and seven kills, nine digs, and three blocks from Avaree Kellert.
Trinity Lundy ran the offense for Oswayo Valley with 27 set assists while adding four digs, and Praylan Perkins chipped in six kills, three aces, and 15 digs. Jenna Freer also had two kills and eight digs.
Abbie Maziarz led Bishop Canevin with 16 kills, while Sani Jones ran the offense for the Crusaders with 36 set assists.
Bishop Canevin will take on Cochranton in the quarterfinals Saturday at a time and place to be announced. Cochranton knocked off Homer-Center, 3-2 (25-18, 25-15, 23-25, 14-25, 15-4).
BEDFORD 3, KEYSTONE 1
BEDFORD, Pa. – District 5 champion Bedford took the final two sets from District 9 champion Keystone to pick up a 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19) at home in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs.
Sydney Bell led Keystone with 10 kills and seven blocks with Leah Exley adding nine kills and seven digs.
Alyssa Weaver ran the offense for the Lady Panthers with 11 set assists, while Kennedy Kaye paced the defense with 16 digs. Jozee Weaver chipped in four kills.
Bedford will take on WPIAL champion North Catholic, a 3-0 (25-8, 25-11, 25-15) winner over District 10 runner-up Corry.
HAMPTON 3, DUBOIS 0
DUBOIS, Pa. – Behind a double-double of 14 kills and 11 digs from Emmy Schrom, visiting Hampton, the WPIAL runner-up cruised past District 9 champion DuBois, 3-0 (25-22, 25-8, 25-20) in the opening round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs.
Claudia Braun also had a double-double for the Talbots with 28 set assists and 12 digs.
DuBois stats weren’t reported.